Plana is a spontaneous project that we felt we could tackle fairly autonomously, although we received specific instructions regarding its aesthetics.
As far back as 2008, we wanted it to be an air molded chair – it appeared in our catalogue in 2009 – reminiscent of the art of origami, with accurate, sharp folded edges that didn’t have the typical, visible channels produced by the air-moulding technology. We made the channels as discreet as possible, creating a continuous edge that adds lightness to the chair, which was designed to be, for us and for the company, suitable both for outdoor and indoor use, without distinguishing outdoor features.
We completely eliminated the strengthening channels on the backrest, producing a very light chair, both in terms of weight and appearance. We wanted it to perfectly suit Kristalia’s minimalist aesthetics – angular and very austere – which is why it looked like a good idea to us to create a structure based on origami.
The rear, which is the most important for technical reasons, is also reminiscent of folded paper.
This was Kristalia’s first air molded chair, therefore it was an important product. I think it has given us and the company a lot of satisfaction, in particular for the many contract supplies completed; in fact, we have seen this chair used in universities and canteens.
Due to the goal we had set for ourselves, i.e. to construct the lightest air-moulded chair possible, there has always been close interaction between us and those who physically made this chair and its gigantic moulds. We tried to continuously streamline and reduce its cross-section, sometimes to the detriment of stability and aesthetics, and find the right compromise to produce a chair suitable for contract supplies, designed to withstand intensive wear and tear, but that still preserved the distinctive looks demanded by private customers.
The rear of the chair, the backrest, has always been a topic of debate and a challenge for those who were entrusted with its maths, for the engineers and for the company that moulded the chair.
The chair was successful therefore, to bolster its image within the home, the company decided to upholster it. We chose fabrics that suited the chair’s philosophy, technical textiles that had a good elasticity; we contacted expert suppliers because it was clear that to cover such a multi-faceted seat was no easy task that required painstaking upholstery work.
One of the fabrics chosen, the one we think most effectively communicates the chair’s suitability for indoor use, is Scuba by Qvadrat. It has the right elasticity while being a technical material, although we are talking about cotton and not wool, it is very warm; a natural material that transmits the contemporary feel and warmth we wanted to communicate.
Once upholstered, the chair had to preserve its identity. The seams and the places where it had been cut were designed to even further enhance its identity. The chair was then completed with all the specifically-moulded accessories, i.e. the feet, the underside of the seat that makes the chair stackable without damaging it and the water discharge hole for outdoor use.