Does a comfortable armchair always have to be heavy, bulky and thickly upholstered? With “Membrane”, Benjamin Hubert demonstrates how an inviting and capacious aesthetic can also be achieved using lightweight, transparent materials. A 3D woven textile mesh is tightly stretched across a CNC-machined framework, the resulting lines summoning images of tents, plane wings or zeppelins. The transparent woven fabric affords glimpses of the structure underneath, the multiple layers creating lovely moiré effects. The overall impression is an armchair that is reduced to the essentials, providing maximum comfort with minimal material. Its generous volume stands in intriguing contrast to its transparency and lightness. “Membrane” is so lightweight that it is easy to move from place to place. For example, the armchair can simply be carried out temporarily onto the balcony or terrace whenever the sun beckons.
Membrane Chair, by Benjamin Hubert for ClassiCon
This single piece, organically shaped armchair designed by Hayon for &tradition, was inspired by the harmony of curves. Sinuous movements in nature, the push and pull of rounded forms and the interplay of light and shadows, Curves are both seductive and comforting, the natural embellishment and enhancement to linear forms. The key to the design was the creation of a flexible, comfortable shape that would adjust to various body types with its modern and inviting form. A combination of rich materials and various finishes allow for a wide range of options: from a basic naked shell to quality Kvadrat wool upholstery or a luxurious leather alternative. Available in various finishes and ergonomically designed with a high backrest, the chair is both functional and comfortable. Celebrating versatility, it can be used in intimate settings, casual comfort or in the stripped down minimal atmosphere of the workspace. Simplicity, elegance and function combine to make the design consistent with the rich heritage of the &tradition brand while introducing contradictory playfulness, combining Mediterranean exuberance with Nordic restraint, joy and logic in harmony with nature.
Catch Chair, by Jaime Hayon, for &Tradition
A chair with back legs like wooden stakes that pierce the sides of the backrest. The stakes give the backrest a nipped-in curve which provides firm lower back support and comfortable seating despite its compact size. A sweetly-sized lounge chair inspired by ‘supermini’ cars like the Fiat 500 and smart cars that easily navigate Milan’s streets.
Peg Chair, by Nendo, for Cappellini
Ro is made with great craftsmanship and in the highest sustainable quality. Combined with the sculptural and elegant design, the result is a functional and aesthetic chair. The form of the shell gives you the choice of being part of what goes on in the room or relaxing in your own private space. “Ro” means tranquillity in Danish. The name was chosen because it captures the point of the chair in just two letters, thus reflecting the Nordic approach and concept of beauty. “We wanted a chair that was comfortable as well as beautiful. My goal was to create a slim and elegant chair that encourages reflection and comfort”, says Jaime Hayon.
The easy chair is available in nine colours: three traditional options (black, grey and taupe), three bright colours (violet, blue and yellow) and three soft colours (light pink, sage-green and sand). For a more vibrant look, the chair features two different textures: one for the seat shell and one for the cushions, which supports the contrasted expression of the hard shell and the warm and soft interior.
Ro Armchair, by Jaime Hayón, for Republic of Fritz Hansen
Gerald Griffith at work in his studio:
Wright has offered at auction several original drawings of the Barcelona Chair by Mies van der Rohe.
When Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona chair was introduced in 1929 it was critically acclaimed but the cost and difficulty of chrome plating the frames limited production. By the early 1950s technology had caught up to Mies van der Rohe’s progressive furniture designs and both Knoll Associates and Gerald Griffith were producing his forms. Chairs produced by Knoll and Gerald Griffith can be distinguished by looking at the intersection of the base; works made by Gerald Griffith feature a crisp hard-edged intersection while versions by Knoll have a reinforced curved intersection.
The Mies van der Rohe office found Gerald Griffith in 1949. The challenge of creating the Barcelona chair in stainless steel – something engineers said could not be done – appealed to Griffith’s tenacious personality. After much experimentation and exploration, Griffith completed the task and he produced Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona and Tugendhat designs in stainless steel for a number of years.
Provenance: The Office of Mies van der Rohe, Chicago | Edward A. Duckett, Bowling Green | David Bryant, Bowling Green In celebration of Mies van der Rohe’s 125th birthday, Wright’s senior specialist Michael Jefferson presented the history of the Barcelona chair to The Mies van der Rohe Society.
Blueprint and Elevation of the Barcelona chair, 1950, Auction at Wright
Unlike many other Italian producers, Mattiazzi keeps all the facets of wood production under one roof. By default, they have become a rare company that is able to shape wood as if it were plastic, while embracing ever-increasing challenges through their own R&D. Industrial Facility have continued to push Mattiazzi further into the exploration of robot-craftsmanship – following on from their first collaboration with the Branca Chair.
Radice finds its underlying beauty and simplicity in its structure. It is the bringing together of the front-half of a traditional 4-legged stool with a single back leg – the root. It is a visual improvisation, where two things come together unexpectedly.
“Radice has some tension in its form and it is a slight surprise that the third leg works as well as it does to resolve the overall structure. It is in some ways structurally diagrammatic, yet is made comfortable visually and physically because of how this third leg supports the seat,” says Sam Hecht.
The backrest is small and reassuring, allowing a coat or handbag to rest on it; and the seat is open for large and small people. It is light both visually and in weight and uses no screws or metal fittings, yet also passes stringent BIFMA standards ensuring it is structurally sound, stable and reliable. The wood stain options for Radice are based on the cycle of an autumn leaf turning colour.
Radice Stool, by Industrial Facility, for Mattiazzi
Gardenias is a collection of furniture for the garden. That’s not a real genre, but it does differentiate Gardenias from other exterior furniture collections. Subtlety, beauty and memory are omnipresent in its design, along with a determination to make the collection broad, varied, multipurpose and open. Further pieces will be added in the future. There will be room for sculptural vases and planters of surprisingly fine terracotta, chairs with or without a pergola, benches and even an attractive watering can.
One of the most outstanding characteristics of the collection is the way its translated the generally rigid and square-shaped image of outdoor metallic furniture to a language that is more romantic in form and also suitable for indoor use. It carries the unmistakable mark of Hayon in the svelte, subtle and feminine forms. It is almost Gaudí-sque (or should we say Gardenia-esque) in so much as it renders metal with organic, almost natural shapes – ones that are more generally seen in furniture made of wood.
Gardenias, by Jaime Hayon, for BD Barcelona Design
The collection was the development from the process of the numerous experiments and research for ‘Crystallized project’ initiated in 2007. In this project, Tokujin created “VENUS” which is having crystal structure. VENUS is formed through the growth of the crystal by using the laws of nature. Through the project, Tokujin would like to throw a question of how we could connect our lives to the future, by being exposed to the serendipitous beauty born of nature. Upon these experiments, “Element” was born from his challenge revealing a new aspect of nature and it’s sculptural form for furniture.
Kunsthal Rotterdam will be presenting a comprehensive exhibition to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Dutch furniture brand Pastoe. Since it was founded in 1913, Pastoe has grown to become an internationally recognised designer label. The brand stands for simplicity, timelessness, quality and craftsmanship. Over the past years, Pastoe has acquired an excellent circle of designers including Maarten Van Severen, Shigeru Uchida and Scholten & Baijings.
The exhibition Like Pastoe illustrates the rich history of the furniture brand and provides an overview of the unique collaboration between Pastoe and various architects, artists and designers. The exhibition has been organised around the following themes: ARCHIVES, ENVIRONMENTS and VISIONS. In the ARCHIVES theme, Krijn de Koning presents the history of Pastoe using exceptional designs, advertising material, sketches, photographs and trade fair presentations. Within the ENVIRONMENTS section, Anne Holtrop projects Pastoe’s vision on the architectonic space. The exhibition’s installations represent an environment in which living, working, learning and creating are defined in a new way. VISIONS highlights the search for new perspectives on product development and includes work by various designers such as Naoto Fukasawa, Claudio Silvestrin and Scheltens & Abbenes.
Like Pastoe: 100 years of design innovation, February 23 – June 2, 2013, at Kunsthal Rotterdam
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In 1960 Dieter Rams conceived of a shelving system “…that could be expanded, rearranged and moved when necessary. The system initially went by the name RZ 60, and in 1970 was renamed the 606 Universal Shelving System, which continues to be a success today. Its popularity derives from the fact that lt offers restrained simplicity while the individual components offer great flexibility for the ever-changing lives of the owner. Over the years the wall-mounted shelving evolved to allow it to be compressed between the floor and ceiling (from 1970). A series of drawers, cabinets and integrated tables permits it to accommodate almost all requirements.” (Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams)
606 Universal Shelving System by Dieter Rams, Available in annodized aluminium or white powder coated aluminium, for DePadova