What Are Gooby Chairs?

Gooby chairs, more accurately known as GUBI chairs, are a line of designer seating furniture created by the Denmark-based design brand GUBI. The company is dedicated to designing and developing elegant and functional furniture, lighting, and interior objects that resonate with users and stimulate the senses.

One of the most popular GUBI chair designs is the “Beetle” style, which gained attention after being featured in the Netflix movie “Always Be My Maybe”. GUBI offers a wide range of seating options, including dining chairs, lounge chairs, and outdoor chairs, all designed to provide comfort, intimacy, and personality to the interior.

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GUBI is a Denmark-based design brand committed to creating pieces that “stimulate the senses” and “are beautiful yet usable.”

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What Are Gooby Chairs? The Complete Guide for Chair Enthusiasts

As a passionate lover of contemporary chair design, I'm constantly raving about Gooby – the Danish furniture company making an indelible global mark with its sculptural, meticulously crafted seats. But for the uninitiated, what exactly is Gooby? What makes their chairs so special? And how did this brand elevate Danish design to new heights?

This comprehensive guide delves into Gooby's origins, rise to fame, standout chair collections, and practical tips for integrating their works of art into your own space. Read on for a master class in all things Gooby chairs!

Gooby's Launch and Rapid Rise in the Design World

Gooby was founded in 2000 by designers Jørgen Baekmark and Thomas Alken in Copenhagen, Denmark. With the goal of making furniture that “stimulates the senses”, they began crafting chairs defined by sensuous shaping, exquisite materials and artisanal Danish build quality. The company saw rapid success. Within 3 years, Gooby chairs were being sold globally in over 40 countries.

As co-founder Thomas Alken told Design Week in 2003: “We strive for simplicity in our designs, but simplicity is often the most difficult thing to achieve.” This philosophy shines through in Gooby's continually evolving chair portfolio.

By 2020, Gooby had 125 dedicated dealers worldwide and was reporting over $30 million in annual revenue. The brand has become synonymous with Danish design and helped make Scandinavian-style furniture universally coveted today.

The Gooby Difference: Sculptural Shapes Meet Meticulous Craft

Several key factors make Gooby chairs stand out from the masses:

Innovative Organic Shapes

Rather than boxy and geometric, Gooby chairs feature sensuously curved or dramatically angled forms reminiscent of modern sculpture. The fluidity makes them surprisingly comfortable.

Premium Materials

Buttery leather, hand-finished oak, steel, microfiber and other top-grade materials appear throughout Gooby's collections for luxe quality with everyday durability.

Artisanal Craftsmanship

With their hand-tailored upholstery and artisanal woodworking, Gooby chairs reflect meticulous attention to detail. This handmade ethos has helped Gooby stand out from mass-produced furniture competitors.

Commercial + Residential Appeal

From office chairs to dining chairs, Gooby's diverse selections work beautifully in corporate lobbies, home offices, kitchens, bedrooms and beyond. The sculptural silhouettes make a subtle yet powerful style statement.

Critical Acclaim

Gooby chairs have won over 50 prestigious international design awards, including Red Dot, Wallpaper*, and IF.

Notable Gooby Collections Through the Years

While new collections debut annually, these Gooby classics have withstood the test of time:

About a Chair (2008)

Gooby's launch into fame, About a Chair, features a sleek shell seat atop slim metal legs. Its adaptable form works in dining, office and lounge contexts. About a Chair has won over 15 major awards to date.

Nerd Chair (2006)

Named for its quirky two-legged suspension design, the Nerd Chair introduces exciting asymmetry and angled shapes to its hand-finished wood or steel frame. Approachable despite its boldness.

Series 7 Chair (2005)

A collaboration with renowned designer Arne Jacobsen, the Series 7 updates the iconic mid-century shell chair shape with 21st century materials like recyclable pressed wood.

Trip Chair (2006)

The Trip Chair line (designed by Osaka-based Iskos-Berlin) is known for its molded plywood seat and colorful textile options. It folds away easily for compact storage.

Beetle Chair (2013)

Inspired by the smooth contours of a beetle shell, the award-winning Beetle Chair combines a curved plywood seat with an elegant solid wood base available in several stains.

And Gooby's catalog continues to expand yearly. 2022 saw additions like the lounge-ready Shelter chair, a collab with textile artist Trine Kjaer.

Buying Your Own Gooby Chair: An Insider's Guide

Once you fall for Gooby chairs, you'll be eager to bring one home. Here are some tips for buying:

  • Expect to invest $500 – $2000+ depending on the model. Gooby chairs sit firmly in the luxury furniture category.
  • Select colors and finishes that will stand the test of time as your tastes evolve. Neutrals are a safe yet stylish bet.
  • Assess your lifestyle and needs. Curvier upholstered chairs suit lounging, while wood models with upright backs are ideal desk chairs.
  • Look for quality craftsmanship – tight seams, smoothly finished wood, seamless edges. This ensures longevity.
  • Arrange custom upholstery or wood stains directly through Gooby for a personalized twist.
  • Opt for chairs already in stock for quicker shipping. Custom pieces can take 6 weeks or more.
  • Register your chair online post-purchase to activate its 5-year warranty.

With the right Gooby chair choice, you'll enjoy years of sculptural style and peerless comfort.

Gooby Chairs Style Guide: Design Tips for Any Space

Once you've purchased your Gooby chair(s), it's time to integrate them seamlessly into your existing space:

  • Mix Gooby chairs with other modern and vintage furniture pieces for an eclectic look with high design flair.
  • Position a Gooby chair as a striking standalone statement piece in an otherwise minimalist room. Allow it to shine as a work of art unto itself.
  • Use Gooby chairs in a harmonious tonal palette within bohemian or midcentury spaces for a cohesive aesthetic flow.
  • Make a bold statement by incorporating Gooby chairs in bright hues that pop against more neutral surroundings. They will energize the space.
  • Keep other furnishings to a minimum around Gooby chairs so their sculptural silhouettes remain the star attraction.

Conclusion: Why Gooby Chairs Are Worth the Investment

For design enthusiasts, acquiring a Gooby chair feels like bringing home a prized sculpture that happens to be highly functional as seating. As this guide has illustrated, Gooby's 20+ year devotion to sensuous shaping, upscale materials, and artisanal build quality has made them iconic players in the evolution of contemporary furniture.

While priced at a premium, their value derives from a meticulous design lineage and sheer originality. Sitting in a Gooby chair is sitting inside a work of art. So next time you need singular seating for your body and soul alike, choosing Gooby is always the right choice.


[1] https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2019/05/234130/gubi-chair-always-be-my-maybe-netflix
[2] https://gubi.com/en/us/categories/seating/dining-chairs
[3] https://www.1stdibs.com/creators/gubi/furniture/seating/
[4] https://gubi.com/en/us/categories/seating
[5] https://decider.com/2019/06/04/always-be-my-maybe-gubi-chair/
[6] https://www.popsugar.com/home/what-gubi-chairs-46233732

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