CULT EDIT. Explore our team's top 25 design icons

The Cult team is proud to advocate for authentic design and passionate about sharing the surprising stories behind the world’s most recognisable design icons and the legendary designers behind them. In conjunction with the ‘Cult Design Icons’ exhibition, which is on now at Cult Sydney until 01 March, we invited our knowledgeable team to select their favourite icon from the Cult collection.

Read on to discover the edit along with personal stories from our team on their favourite icons.

Egg Chair (1959) by Arne Jacobsen - Fritz Hansen 

"It really is hard to pick one piece when amongst so many Icons. But since having my Egg chair at home, I feel strongly about how wonderful the design is. It is the only chair in the house that we do not have to spin back into position as it looks beautiful at all angles. I especially enjoy sitting in the chair when at the end of the day and relaxing whilst I reflect.

Having been lucky enough to have been to the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen and seen the chair being made at the Fritz Hansen factory in Alleroed - to see all the craftsmanship that goes into stitching the leather I feel that I am fortunate to have a handmade design at home."

— Richard Murano, Founder and Managing Director

Losanges Rug (2011) by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec - Nanimarquina

"The Losanges rug was designed by the brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec as a part of their continuing study of simplicity and elegance. The brothers reinterpret the traditional Persian rug craftsmanship by using ancient kilim techniques. Crafting the rug requires great skill due to the combination of 13 colours in the geometrical rhombus pattern. The Losanges collection is an imprint of craftsmanship."

— Jeff Tsang, General Manager

Flowerpot Lamp (1969) by Verner Panton - &Tradition

"To me this is one of the world's most recognisable design icons. It's synonymous with the Flower Power movement from the late 60s and reflects the break from convention to embrace a more open and modern mentality centred around peace and harmony. Verner Panton is one of the most forward-thinking talents of his time and his designs have endured spectacularly. I love the playful form and rainbow of colours to choose from, the VP9 Portable is my favourite model."

— Rosie Schloeffel, Marketing & Communications Manager

Little Petra (1938) by Viggo Boesen - &Tradition

"The Little Petra chair is one of few designs by architect Viggo Boesen in the 1930s. Originally only around 30 pieces were produced as made-to-order for a private client – making it a very rare item in auctions at the time. It was then brought back into production in 2018 by &Tradition on the design's 80th anniversary. Little Petra is a comfortable, soft, and welcoming design - an iconic armchair that fits seamlessly into many spaces." 

— Jemma Cromie, Sales Consultant

Tube Chair (1969) by Joe Colombo - Cappellini

"The Tube Chair, designed by Italian designer Joe Colombo, is a true design icon of the late 1960s. It is a perfect example of Colombo's innovative approach to furniture design, which emphasised functionality, and is the perfect piece for sipping a martini while lounging in style.

For me, it has a feeling reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. The thing that draws me to this piece is that the chair is made up entirely of synthetic materials that became popular with space-age design at the time. The modular components of this chair can be arranged in any combination to suit the user, and can even be nested one inside the other." 

— Clinton Garofano, Showroom Manager

Cloud Book Shelf (2004) by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec - Cappellini

"The Shelving system was designed in 2004 but feels like a real throwback to 70’s design thinking. I love its organic shape which creates a sense of emphasis through the pattern. Personally, I feel Modern design has really confined humans to ridged thinking so it’s nice to see designers pushing the boundaries of storage solutions. The system is versatile and can be used as both a functional and aesthetic piece. Definitely, on my list of fun pieces I want to invest in." 

— Alexandra Serban, Customer Operations Administrator

CH25 Chair (1950) by Hans J. Wegner - Carl Hansen & Son

"The CH25 chair, by Hans J. Wegner is my favourite design icon. I feel that it’s a beautiful and functional piece of furniture that showcases Wegner's mastery of woodworking and attention to detail. Wagner’s choice of material for the CH25 (papercord) was also a new material at that time and Wegner was persistent on using it, as it was durable and didn’t stretch. It takes a skilled craftsman 10 hours to weave one seat and backrest by hand. It is also an example of mid-century Danish modern design, that emphasises simplicity and functionality."

— Fenella Horne, Commercial Sales Consultant

Series 7 (1955) by Arne Jacobsen - Fritz Hansen 

"The Series 7 is a Danish design classic and has become one of the most popular chairs in the world. Arne Jacobsen designed the chair to be lightweight, organic in shape and comfortable to sit in. He accomplished this using a technique of gluing and moulding 9 layers of plywood together, a revolutionary technique in furniture design at the time. The timelessness of the Series 7 shows in that it has been available for continuous sale since it was first produced back in 1955."

— Joshua Ellis, Cultivated Brand Manager

Swan Chair (1958) by Arne Jacobsen - Fritz Hansen 

"Strict lines and organic curves united in elegance, the Swan Chair never ceases to amaze me, and it’s been at the top of my list of personal favourites for as long as I can recall. The Swan was designed in 1958 by Danish design hero and compatriot of mine Arne Jacobsen. Today, decades later, it is as much adorned as it was back then – in craftsmanship as well as aesthetics it’s an icon crafted to last."

— Amalie Andersen, Marketing Coordinator

PK25 Chair (1951) by Poul Kjaerholm - Fritz Hansen 

"Poul Kjaerholm’s PK25 Lounge is one of the best examples of classic minimalism and early explorations of industrial materials. The frame is cleverly folded from a single piece of sheet steel without joins and welds, then wrapped in halyard rope traditionally used in sailing. Kjaerholm remarkably created this icon before graduating from art school."

— Jason O'Neill, Product Development Lead

Grand Prix Chair (1957) by Arne Jacobsen - Fritz Hansen 

"Following the iconic Series 7 and Ant chair designs, the Grand Prix is one of my favourites. Not only is it a classic piece, the sophisticated but simple details in the wood finishes and the design itself can enhance any room, also making it such a versatile piece."

— Angel Rosas, Commercial Project Coodinator

PK11 Chair (1957) by Poul Kjaerholm - Fritz Hansen 

"Fritz Hansen PK11 is a stylish lounge chair designed by Poul Kjaerholm in 1956. Of this chair, I love the clever construction that makes it an elegant but function piece. Made from steel and leather, it’s a timeless classic perfect for any modern living room or office."

— Chiara Lodovici, Product Development 

Beetle Chair (2013) by GamFratesi - Gubi 

"Strikingly simple in form but full of personality, GamFratesi’s Beetle Chair combines crafted details and advanced manufacturing technologies to produce something truly original: a highly versatile, extremely comfortable, and beautifully expressive dining chair inspired by the forms of nature. Inspired by the insect itself and hence its namesake, the finesse and organic design of this icon make it one to remember and is so versatile to suit every space. It has created a historic moment in furniture design and a fluid infusion where craft meets technology."

— Isabelle Cunningham, Commercial Sales Consultant

Bohemian 72 Lounge Chair (1971) by Gabriella Crespi - Gubi 

"From the moment I came across Gabriella Crespi’s designs I was absolutely intoxicated by her sophisticated yet unconventional approach. I love that this piece sits just as comfortably as an accent chair as it does in complement to other pieces of the Bohemian Collection. Crespi was such a spirited and daring character and I feel transported to her home in 1970s Milan every time I see this piece."

— Miranda Trost, Commercial Sales Consultant

Rey Chair (1971) by Bruno Rey - HAY 

"After opening his atelier in Switzerland in 1968, Bruno Rey worked on chair design 3300. After countless iterations, the newly titled Rey chair was mass-produced in 1971 by local manufacturer Dietiker. The Rey chair became one of the most iconic pieces of Swiss industrial design. HAY's reinterpretation of the Rey collection features curved solid timber frames in original and contemporary new colours. I chose the Rey chair because of its timeless minimal design that is as popular today as it was when released in 1971."   

— Kira Amon, Sales Consultant

Sferico Glassware (1968) by Joe Colombo - Karakter 

"Joe Colombo believed in democratic and functional design. In his lifetime he designed a wide range of different drinking glasses. In 1968 he designed Sferico - a series of six glasses, all based on geometrical figures. True to his democratic and functional take on design, all the glasses were intended for a wide range of different usage."

— Lauren James, Commercial Sales Consultant

Lari Lamp (1978) by Angelo Mangiarotti - Karakter 

"The Lari Lamp is highly versatile and can be used in a variety of settings, from home interiors to commercial spaces. The lamp's simple design makes it easy to integrate into a wide range of styles and aesthetics."

— Isabel Moultrie, E-Commerce Coordinator 

AJ Table Light (1957) by Arne Jacobsen - Louis Poulsen 

"Danish designer Arne Jacobsen designed the iconic AJ Lamp for the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen in 1957. At that time, the AJ family comprised a table and a floor lamp as well as a wall lamp, a small table lamp and a table lamp that was designed to attach to the table. The AJ lamps are famous for their sculptural design."

— Benjamin Downey, Marketing Executive

Artichoke (1958) by Poul Henningsen - Louis Poulsen 

"When I first came across the LP Artichoke, I was immediately captivated by the distinctive shape and placement of the leaves, blocking the light source from any angle. It was interesting to learn many years later that this is a fundamental principle in all Louis Pouslen lighting – using in-direct, diffused light to create comfortable and inviting spaces."

— Jock Taylor, Sales Manager

Teddy Bear Chair (1951) by Hans J. Wegner - PP Mobler

"This piece immediately caught my eye at the Sydney Showroom on my first day at Cult. I think its grandness yet beautifully refined details, really caught my eye as it just looked so timeless yet so of its era. The comfort is unsurpassable and then hearing the name really added to the whimsical sense of the piece; I love that there is a Mamma and Baby Bear chair by Wegner in existence also.

Having since gone to PP Mobler in Copenhagen, I was able to watch first-hand as these pieces were being crafted from the best materials available. Then carefully hand stitched around the affectionally known ‘paws’ to finish. The sheer time & attention to detail in manufacture alone are testament to this being a true design icon."

—  Chris Poore, Commercial Sales Consultant

Mezzadro Stool (1957) by Achille Castiglioni - Zanotta

"Mezzadro designed by Archile Castiglioni in 1957 is an icon to me not only because of its unconventional form and materiality but because of the idea it represents. Privileged enough to own a Mezzadro stool, every day I engage with the piece it prompts me to think beyond the conventions of normalcy.

 A non-conformist and free thinker Castiglioni’s designs responded to political unrest, changing societal norms and fundamental questioning of everything. It is no surprise that inspiration was also drawn from the dada art movement and by engaging in similar acts of appropriation and re-contextualisation, Castiglioni showed how design could inspire surprise, novelty and thought beyond an object’s functional constraints."

—  Samuel Michael, Commercial Sales Consultant

Stella Stool (1957) by Achille Castiglioni - Zanotta

“There has to be irony, both in design and in the objects. I see around me a professional disease of taking everything too seriously. One of my secrets is to joke all the time.” — Achille Castiglioni

 The Sella stool is a wild ride of a piece of furniture from the minds of brothers Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni. Designed in 1957, the Sella wasn't produced until 1983 - talk about being ahead of its time!

It is the perfect combination of form and function, with an extra dash of humour thrown in for good measure. On one hand, it's a (mostly) usable piece of furniture, a "telephone stool" designed for unusual postures. But on the other hand, it could be a work of art straight out of Dadaism - should you sit on it or put it in a museum? It's safe to say, that in the past years, I’ve since caught the Zanotta bug."

— Aaron Cupples, Retail Sales Consultant

Quaderna (1972) by Superstudio - Zanotta

"Quaderna has always caught my eye, owing to its graphic simplicity and preciseness. Often assumed to be covered in tiles, there are a few contradictions to its design. Visually three-dimensional, yet two-dimensionally printed. Produced with utilitarian materials using industrialised processes, yet surprisingly labour intensive. Modern and bold, yet capable of residing in almost any setting."

— Mathew Fowler, Sales Manger

Maggiolina (1947) by Marco Zanuso - Zanotta

"Designed in the late 40s by Marco Zanuso for a competition held by MoMa NYC, the first iteration was curved steel tubing, burlap as the sling and two plywood panels to support the padded cushions – a simple yet functional design. Today, the chair is wrapped in the most luxurious finishes whilst still maintaining the design integrity of its first iteration, an understated icon that you will want to lounge on forever."

— Denise Diago, Customer Service Administrator

Shuffle MH1 (2010) by Mia Hamburg - &Tradition

"Usually I would go with something functional and simple but because this design is so opposite to anything I would choose. It is aesthetically pleasing, playful, and brings good memories from childhood." 

— Lukasz Walczak, Customer Operations Administrator

Shop the Design Icons team edit. 

Cult is the purveyor of the best in international design with a portfolio of over 35 brands across furniture, lighting, accessories, storage and kitchen – predominantly from Denmark and Italy. Shop online Australia-wide at, or find your local store and view opening hours here

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