Archive for September, 2007

Moooi Carbon Chair

Thursday, 6 September 2007

I went to Amsterdam last week for work, and managed to spend some time exploring the city.The Netherlands is home to a large number of world-class designers, running the entire gamut of fields—from furniture to architecture, textile making to ceramics, fashion to graphic design. Some Dutch design heavyweights that immediately come to mind are Hella Jongerius, Marcel Wanders, Viktor & Rolf and Rem Koolhaas.The Dutch design collective, Droog, alone has worked with over a hundred different designers. I dropped by their store, and saw this unbelievable table by Miriam van der Lubbe.Frog Table at Droog AmsterdamScenes from an Indonesian fairy tale about a Frog Prince were cut by laser into the walnut surface, then four Balinese craftsmen worked for two weeks, carving out half the tabletop into a spectacular relief of lily pads, tadpoles and frogs—in all stages of its life cycle.Frog Table at Droog AmsterdamThe table has to be seen to be believed. One half is precision-etched, with incisions barely a millimeter wide, and the other half is insanely hand-crafted. This juxtaposition was part of the artist’s intent; where countries would normally use cheap Indonesian labour to manufacture mass consumer goods, she used skilled artisans to produce a one-off masterpiece. (Ironically, perhaps, the labour cost was still probably fifty times cheaper than it would have cost to make in say, Italy.)I digress… more Amsterdam posts to come soon.One chair of Dutch design that I really love is Bertjan Pot’s Carbon Chair, designed in cooperation with Marcel Wanders, and produced by Moooi.Carbon ChairIt’s made from 100% carbon fibre, with no metal frame, and weighs an incredible, I don’t know, 3 micrograms, or some other ridiculously light weight. You can lift it with your little finger; it’s so light and feels really fragile, but yet, incredibly strong.The Carbon Chair was inspired by an experimental chair Pot created as an homage to Charles Eames’s DSR side chair with Eiffel base. Using carbon fiber and epoxy resin to “trace” the chair, the result was the “Carbon Copy”. (This chair was never produced, and remains only a prototype. Image from Bertjan Pot’s website.)Carbon CopyPot also designed the Random Light, which was his previous experiment with epoxy-soaked fibreglass strands. (He says on his website, “people who know me, know I like random.”) Originally hand-coiled around a large balloon, it took three years to perfect the mechanical process which allows it to retain its random, non-machine-made look. It’s now available in three sizes, the largest one slightly over a metre in diameter.Random LightCarbon ChairMaterial: Epoxy and carbon fibreColour: BlackDimensions: 75 x 46 x 50cm (H x W x D)Seating height: 45cmLIMITED AVAILABILITY DUE TO SHORTAGE OF CARBON FIBRE