The pieces that comprise designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec’s Steelwood Chair began with Eugenio Perazza, the founder of Italian design firm (and Herman Miller partner) Magis. Perazza wanted an inexpensive wooden chair with simple joints of pressed metal. The Bouroullecs liked the idea, but wanted to take it a step further. The brothers aimed for a design that would be cost-competitive with plastic chairs, yet have a long life span and age well, developing a patina from use and wear.
The result is a straightforward design that thoughtfully combines two traditional materials: steel and wood. Skilled metalworkers use a series of complex mechanical procedures to gradually shear, coin, curve, and cut the metal pieces. The legs and round seat are milled out of solid beech. Together, the materials form a chair that is strong and durable with a natural warmth. Easy to assemble and offered in a selection of painted finishes, its subtle silhouette adapts to a number of environments. “We tried to make a chair that could fit a number of people, and it doesn’t look like a chair for rich or poor, woman or man—it’s universal,” explains Erwan. “Just made in metal and wood that will last and grow old quite nicely. The chair says, ‘Believe me that I’m a chair that will last.’”
Read more about the design’s manufacturing process at Magis here. To add the chair — or any of the Steelwood family, including its stool and table — to your dining or working space, visit the Herman Miller store.
Imagination, collaboration, and innovation characterize the work of internationally recognized designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. From furniture and home accessories to distinctive organic forms and structures, the brothers’ designs are at once intriguing and effective, while uniquely accenting the environments they inhabit. Take an exploration of their work with these six eclectic creations.
If you will be in the Midwest before the end of January, don’t miss the brothers’ exhibit “Bivouac” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. The exhibit is open now and continues through January 20, 2013.
Here we continue our series looking at designers who have worked with Magis and Mattiazi. French designer and brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec tick both boxes with their Steelwood chair, stool and table for Magis and their beautiful sculptural Osso chair for Mattiazzi.
The brothers are also part of the excellent Phaidon video interview series which I have included below. In this short clip they talk about their designs, their responsibilities and the poetic quality of a well-made object. We also get a great peek into their Paris-based workspace where the interview was shot.
Italian architect Stefano Giovannoni is a prolific designer with interests that span not just the world of furniture but also digital design. Above he is photographed with a tablet he designed for Alessi. It’s an interactive multimedia device dubbed alessiTab that lives in the kitchen and connects you to everything from your favorite recipes to online food stores.
Giovannoni is probably best known for his iconic Bombo stool. Its soft organic seat is formed with injection-molded plastic sprouting from a chrome stem and base. Using advances in that same air-molding technology Giovannoni designed Chair First. This time there was no chrome. The whole chair is one durable, sturdy, lightweight piece of plastic that is 100% recyclable. For all its elegant simplicity of form it is a major breakthough in chair design – hence the name Chair First.
For more on Giovannoni check out the post over on Discover.
We are thrilled to welcome Italian company Magis and their incredible stable of designers to the Herman Miller family. Check out David Foster’s slideshow over on Discover for more details on this exciting relationship. Pictured above is Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec‘s Steelwood chair – just one of the designs now available through the Herman Miller store.