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
With a retro, almost art deco feel, Volt has a blown-glass shade that comes in two different shapes: a semi-circle, or an upside-down bucket, both reminiscent of the atmosphere and shapes from the 1930s. The base is either metal or plastic. Clean, basic shapes, classicality and lighting inventions: Dordoni finds aesthetic function in the LED cooling mechanism, thus endowing an unadorned technical element with unsuspected formal elegance. The copper lamellae inside the glass pipe become a changing pattern on the shaft that holds up the lampshade.
“We were fascinated by the industrial appearance of this new pipe, so we decided to highlight its form so much as to make it the focal point and decorative element of the lamp itself”, Dordoni explains. The path that was followed toward the creating of the Volt table lamp is a review of key steps in a century-long design process, meaning the search for the “Right Form”. The elements of this search are frequently seen in the world of lamp manufacturing, and particularly every time new technology or production methods find direct application on the market.
Volt, by Rodolfo Dordoni, for Flos
“We wanted a lamp with a strong relationship with surrounding environment, an abiding correlation between light and space”
Contemporary technology brought us many items – smartphones, tablets, e-books – shifting our IT fulchrum from home-offices to living room, changing the direction we usually reach informations: before we went to a desk where the PC was, now portable digital data can follow us everywhere. For this reason, sometimes we need an ambient light that smooths the contrasts between digital displays and a completely dark room, and can be used as a relaxing light to enjoy a tv show or just talking while sitting on a sofa.
The Odeon lamp for FontanaArte is entirely covered in cuoietto leather and casts its light to the wall, thus creating a comfy and warm glow of refracted light, while the other side is opaque and screens the bulb. The leather handle allows people to place the lamp anywhere into a room, next to a sofa, near the wall so it will become a quiet presence.
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
Small and large transparent pendants multiplied. Spin light’s expression of dynamics is based on a simple rotational form resembling a child’s toy known as the spinning top or the silhouettes of whirling dervishes. It gives the lights a basic graphic impression. Clear transparent airy lamps with a touch of color on top are powered by small LED efficient discs which highlighting strong silhouettes and let them float freely in the space as empty volumes.
Spin Light, by Lucie Koldová, for Lasvit
“When I started thinking about the design, I had the desire to challenge the perception and the common preconceptions of a material that is normally known to people just as ‘plastics’. I knew that I would like to go further than what’s the norm not only in terms of function and the look, but about the feel and tactility of the material as well. Soon it was clear that one of the greatest things I was missing in typical designs made of plastic was a significant impression of substance, of materiality. Therefore, the next step could only be a design that celebrated the actual material as it is, straightforward, solid and honest, with a concept of hiding nothing, but showing its innermost values to the outside. No second skin, no paint coat, the true, bold material in its pure form.”
- Dirk Winkel
Winkel w127 is manufactured of solid fiberglas reinforced biopolyamide. The material is recyclable. The mechanical solution is based on micro gas springs, widely used in the automotive and electronics industries. The gas springs have a lifespan of more than 50,000 compressions and give exceptionally good movement patterns. The shade is adjustable for universal direction of the light. The light technology is based on a highly energy-efficient multichip LED solution.
Wästberg Winkel w127, by Dirk Winkel, GOOD DESIGN Award 2012
The Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli presents A Passion for Jean Prouvé, an exhibition devoted to the furniture and architecture by the French designer Jean Prouvé from the collection owned by Laurence and Patrick Seguin.
Laurence and Patrick Seguin discovered the work of Jean Prouvé, in the late 1980s, through his furniture designs. They were immediately struck by the unique aesthetic of these pieces, where the artistic skill lies wholly in imperceptible technical mastery devoted to enhancing the strength of the materials. While at the time very few people had even heard of Jean Prouvé, their enthusiasm for his captivating lines was immediate, a revelation that became a true passion.
The couple then began to take an interest in Jean Prouvé’s work as a whole, of which the furniture is only a part, going on to discover his architectural designs. With the idea that “there is no difference between constructing a piece of furniture and constructing a building”, Jean Prouvé applied the same design approach to both fields, basing all of his work on it.
From the opening of their gallery in Paris in 1989, Laurence and Patrick Seguin began to work in earnest promoting the creations of Jean Prouvé, with the result that the most important international collectors and the most prestigious museums now have works by the French architect and designer in their collections. Indeed today Jean Prouvé is held to be one of the key exponents of twentieth century design.
Laurence and Patrick Seguin are now presenting a number of works from their private collection for the first time: around 40 pieces by Jean Prouvé, most of which are prototypes or extremely rare, from the armchair designed for the University dormitory of Nancy in 1932 to the light armchair created for the University of Antony in 1954, to the furniture produced for Africa.
The same principles of functionality and rational fabrication that the designer applied to furniture often destined for the public sector, can also be found in Prouvé’s architectural designs: the same solid structures feature clever mechanisms for assembly and organisation that enable both the furniture and the constructions to be easily moved, disassembled and modified.
The Maison Metropole (8×12 meters) is now to be mounted for the first time on the Lingotto track. In 1949 this aluminum construction won a Ministry of Education competition for “mass-producible rural school with classroom and teacher accommodation”: a masterpiece of nomadic housing, followed the portico principle patented by Prouvé in 1939. The Ateliers Jean Prouvé built two of them, one in Bouqueval, near Paris, and the other in Vantoux in Moselle, which will be on show in Turin.
Taking four people three consecutive days to assemble, a stop-motion film will be made of the construction process, with video footage streamed over the internet.
A Passion for Jean Prouvé: From Furniture to Architecture, Torino, Italy
April 6 – September 8, 2013, Galerie Patrick Seguin
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
Exploring geometries in two or three dimensions, Arik Levy designed for VIBIA the pendant lighting fixture Wireflow, an authentic sculpture of light in space. Wireflow reinterprets from a contemporary and original point of view the classical hanging luminaries, thanks to geometrical configurations able to integrate with other compositions and create a light installation with a unique character. Its structure formed by thin rods and LED terminals (3W) produces a visual continuity of lines and light spots, which provides the immaterial with a notable objectual character. According to Levy, Wireflow is in the mean time presence and absence, transparency and luminosity, light and fluidity.
Wireflow Pendant Lighting, by Arik Levy, for VIBIA
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