Design Icon ‘1025’ – James Van Vossel

Every other week, together with Sjiek / Het Belang Van Limburg, we present a Limburg design icon, or one that is well on its way to becoming one. This week it is James Van Vossel’s side table 1025 for Thonet.

WHAT: A wooden side table with three crossed legs. While the legs in the tabletop are stuck in one line, they slope obliquely at a 120-degree angle and form three tangent points of a perfect circle on the ground.

YEAR: 2016

Waaslander James Van Vossel has been living in Velm, Sint-Truiden for years. He started in 2006 with his design studio “James” and works on a very broad scale: from lounge sofa to glasses and from table porcelain to handbags. His ideas come about in the studio, rarely on paper. All from the top of his mind.


The design looks deceptively simple: a round table top with three sloping legs underneath. The oval connections are visible in the tabletop and are in one straight line. From there the legs run out at a 120 degree angle. The three legs run narrower both upwards and downwards and stand together on the floor in a perfect imaginary circle.


This technical feat requires so much expertise in woodworking that James Van Vossel presented his design at Thonet, a German artisan furniture manufacturer and pioneer in curved solid wood and in metal tube furniture. The company has several iconic pieces of furniture and James van Vossel is the very first and only Belgian so far who could launch a design with them. It puts its name alongside other great designers such as Mies Van Der Rohe and Marcel Breuer.


“I got in contact with Thonet for the first time in 2010 at the design fair in Milan,” explains van Vossel. “I had made a children’s sledge that was glued together layer by layer. In the meantime I stayed in contact and when I had finished this ingenious prototype table, I saw in Thonet the best conceivable party to put it into a series production. ”


Van Vossel was able to arrange a meeting with Thonet during the IMM trade fair in Cologne. With a disassembled prototype in his backpack, he went to their exhibition stand. Apart from the fact that you are not allowed to smuggle in furniture at a design fair, it is certainly not done to present a physical prototype, because apart from the many press people, the competition is lurking. There he went for the extra mile. His Thonet contact, head of production, went into the trade fair desk and looked at his design. It must have been a wonderful spectacle, because Thonet CEO Thorsten Munk was also called in and there under the desk in IMM Cologne he said: you come to Frankenberg. That visit would eventually lead to the production of what is now known as “1025” in the Thonet catalog.

Thonet 1025 has a diameter of 45 centimeters and is 48 centimeters high. The version in solid ash costs 629 euros, but is also available in oak (750 euros) and walnut (865 euros).