Sizeable and sculptural, Konstantin Grcic’s Medici Chair is a love song to wood — the raw material, the woodworking process, and the craftsmen who transform the material into something both beautiful and useful. Grcic, who first trained as a cabinet-maker, found inspiration for the piece on the factory floor of manufacturer Mattiazzi, where traditional woodworking techniques meet the newest digital production technologies. His approach from the start: use only three-quarter-inch planks throughout — a reminder of the beginning of the production process, when a tree trunk is cut into slices. The result is a visible, easy-to-read structure that uniquely expresses the distinct characteristics of wood.
A contemporary interpretation of the classic Adirondack chair, the outdoor version of this semi-reclined design uses thermo-oiled ash, a finish that employs a new process of heat-treating and hand-oiling to seal the wood and keep it moisture-resistant. Get it just in time for the new spring season at the Herman Miller store.
The founders of London-based Industrial Facility, designers Sam Hecht and Kim Colin round out the final week of the Why Design series on Herman Miller. Explore how the design duo makes the connection between design, daily life, and the environments we inhabit. Innovation, form, and good old common sense abound among these Six Ways to Sam Hecht and Kim Colin.
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.
We’ve been focused on Magis in this series but today we look to Italian furniture company Mattiazzi. Back in June we announced this exciting partnership and now, with Nitzan Cohen’s He Said and She Said chairs (pictured above) available at the Herman Miller store, we finally can share the elegant designs with you.
“Mattiazzi has a history with design, craft, industrial processes, and sustainable practices that makes them a natural fit with Herman Miller,” said Jack Schreur, Vice President of Herman Miller Classics and Retail. “In the past, when you needed a wood supplier that could do the impossible, you called Mattiazzi. Today, they’ve taken their expertise in wood manufacturing to a new level, partnering with leading designers.” Those leading designers include Nitzan Cohen (pictured above), Sam Hecht, and Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec.
Here we look at Mattiazzi’s collaboration with Nitzan Cohen. Cohen, who graduated from the renowned Design Academy Eindhoven, Holland, worked as a designer and project leader in Konstantin Grcic‘s studio n in Munich. He finally opened his own studio in 2007 and his client list now includes BMW-Group, Diesel, Mattiazzi, and Bree.
“It’s a joyful project with wonderful people,” said Cohen of his collaboration with Mattiazzi. “It’s a great example that no matter what technology one has (and Mattiazzi has the latest in CAD wood working) it is still all about the basics, about carpentry work, an intuition for wood together with years of experience and most of all tons of love for it all.”
This year Cohen was tapped to design the Mattiazzi stand (above and below) at the Milan furniture fair. Dubbed “Mirror! Mirror!” Cohen writes “Our installation for Mattiazzi’s 2011 collection was made solely of raw chip-boards, large mirror panels and light bulbs, the installation is an abstract homage to old mirror rooms and analogue times when bare light bulbs were used as a highlight.” The result is theatrical, a stage that’s perfect for Cohen’s elegant chair designs.