Think on this: in the time it takes you to take a swig from a plastic bottle, a staggering 20,000 of them are thrown away. Worldwide, there are more than 1,300,000,000 bottles sold every day, with only 6% of them being recycled and many ending up in the oceans.
Manufacturers in the Netherlands have hit upon an innovative solution to bring a second life to plastic bottles by transforming them into PET Felt. PET—or polyethylene terephthalate, to use its technical name—is a thermoplastic polymer resin that allows manufacturers to utilise plastic waste in their products, turning it into a sustainable, versatile, and durable material that can be moulded into any shape.
Bottles—in some cases fished from the canals of Amsterdam—arrive to the recycling centres in 250kg densely pressed bales, that are teased apart, cleaned and sorted.
Next, the bottles move into a granulator machine that shreds them into 1cm flakes. Meanwhile, the granulator removes all remaining debris to produce pure PET flakes, ready for the next phase of their transformation.
The PET flakes now travel through an extruder, melting them and forming polyester fibres with a soft wool-like texture. Colour can be added at this point. The fibres are then cut into thin sheets to prepare them for felting.
The felting machine folds the fibre into layers and compresses it. Then, thousands of barbed needles stab the material, turning it into felt. Multiple felt sheets are next merged together to create a dense mat, ready for pressing.
In a single moulding action, the 3D pressing machine turns a sheet of felt into a sturdy form, preserving its soft wool-like texture. PET Felt can take any shape—chair shells, seats, and backs, dividers, lampshades, even tables! The felt also has excellent sound dampening properties, making it ideal for acoustic products such as wall panels and baffles.
The resultant products are innovative and sustainable. The possibilities are endless.
We are all working from home more and more. That’s great if you have a separate work room with space for a desk and a good task chair. However, many of us don’t have the luxury of such a space, and even if we do, chances are it’s now being shared between two or more people.
There is a solution, and it’s called HomeFit!
When not in use, HomeFit looks like a regular cupboard or sideboard, and at only 105cm wide, 30cm deep, and 68cm high, it’s about the size of a small Billy bookcase.
But when we need to work, simply open the doors, flip up the worktop and HomeFit becomes a full 80cm work desk. More than that, it’s an electrically adjustable sit-stand desk!
Available in all white, all oak, or black and oak on a 15-day lead time.
Available from November 2020. Please contact us for full specification and other finish options.
We live in strange times. Those of us who are not self-isolating face a weekly shop that is like a scene from a zombie apocalypse movie. Hand sanitiser, pasta, and toilet roll are now more precious than gold. All sport is cancelled. Coronavirus has come to dominate our lives and the UK government is now urging workers to avoid the office and work from home where possible. At some point soon this could well become a full lockdown. Fair enough, we might enjoy some home comforts during our working day. And yet, often the home is not that comfortable, at least when it comes to home working. So if you are working from home, hunched over a laptop on the sofa, or your backside is going numb on a rock hard kitchen chair, check out our 5 chairs to upgrade your homeworking experience to something more comfortable.
Lino is the new task chair from Herman Miller. Leaning on more than 50 years of Herman Miller’s industry-leading research and design, Lino holds the same DNA as the rest of their performance work chairs, offering each person balanced movement and dynamic fit. Lino brings scientifically backed comfort and a wide range of aesthetic options to your home. Lino’s contoured seat works together with its high-performance Duo Suspension to give you total spinal support, and the breathable suspension features integrated lumbar support thanks to a composite of different thread tensions. You can customise your Lino Chair by choosing between a Black or Mineral frame, six different suspension colours and a large variety of upholstery options. For the base, choose a colour that matches the frame or, for a sleeker look, turn to polished aluminium. For even more comfort go for the PostureFit back option that supports the sacral and lumbar regions.
Diffrient World is Humanscale’s first foray into all-mesh task seating. Designer Niels Diffrient wanted to create the most minimal, full-function task chair ever made. With an innovative tri-panel mesh backrest that provides custom back and lumbar support and a lightweight design, Diffrient World is simple, beautiful and functional. The design eliminates the need for traditional mechanisms, instead using the laws of physics and the sitter’s body weight to offer perfect recline for each individual sitter with armrests that are attached to the back of the chair so they move with the user. Diffrient World offers the ultimate user-friendly sitting experience. A high quality, affordable task chair with minimal parts, Diffrient World was built with longevity in mind and will look as good in ten years as it does today
DO is the result of taking a completely fresh look at task chair design, DO does more with less. DO is innovative in terms of the materials used, the way it’s assembled and transported, and the powerful performance it delivers. People come in all shapes and sizes and with shared workspaces becoming increasingly common there’s a growing need for simple, adaptable seating. Thanks to user-centred design and a weight balancing mechanism, DO doesn’t have multitude of knobs and levers to find and struggle with. In fact, DO increases the range of adjustment on offer, while at the same time simplifying how it’s delivered, making DO easier to set up and intuitive to use.
Both the technical and upholstered mesh textiles adapt to each user’s body shape to always provide great back support. The single skin mesh allows better temperature control and breathe-ability than a traditional upholstered back. Lumbar support is included as standard. The weight balancing mechanism automatically adapts to any size of user, taking away the need for the usual tension adjustment & complicated chair ‘set-up’. The optional travel limiter allows back recline to three different angles but ensures that the back can only ever be locked in the upright position.
ID Trim is part of Antonio Citterio’s ID Chair Concept family of chairs. The ID Chair Concept is based around the FlowMotion mechanism that supports the sitter across the full range of movement. Nearly all functions can be adjusted while sitting in the chair, and just a few quick turns of an adjustment screw enable precision tuning from minimum to maximum resistance. Even if the settings are not optimally adjusted on occasion, the chair still retains its ergonomic properties.
With its compact padding, the backrest of the ID Trim office chair conveys a sense of classic elegance and quality craftsmanship. ID Chairs in warm earthy hues have a particularly understated character, perfect for a home office. The sandwich construction with integrated lumbar support provides the comfort of an upholstered backrest while being almost as slim as a mesh backrest. The interplay of the polyamide frame with the multi-chamber padding gives the backrest its three-dimensional range of movement. It adapts to the contours of the sitter’s body and distributes varying degrees of flexibility and support to the correct zones. Integrated cushioning in the lumbar region, flexibility in the thoracic, and support to the shoulders provide support and relieves strain and tension where appropriate.
It’s incredible to think that Aeron has been around in various guises for a quarter of a century now. It’s testament to its timeless design and world-class ergonomics that its still relevant, and still going strong.
While its iconic form has remained largely unchanged, the Aeron chair has been remastered from the castors up to meet the needs of today’s work. With the help of original co-designer Don Chadwick, Herman Miller have thoughtfully updated the chair based on the latest research around the science of sitting, and advancements in materials, manufacturing and technology. By doing away with foam and fabric, the original Aeron solved one of the problems of prolonged sitting: the build-up of heat and humidity close to the body. While many chairs have adopted mesh as a way to deliver some of this performance, there’s only one Pellicle and it’s now upgraded to provide multi-zonal support for increased comfort and ergonomic support.
Updates include a more refined tilt mechanism that delivers an even more seamless experience of movement to the sitter through a smoother trajectory and optimal balance point and PostureFit SL, an adjustable back support with individual pads that stabilise the sacrum and support the lumbar region of the spine to mimic a healthy standing position.
Launched in 1950 by Charles & Ray Eames, the Fiberglass Chairs introduced a new furniture typology: the multifunctional chair whose shell can be combined with a variety of bases to serve different purposes. The material of the shell’s fibreglass owes its charm to an irregular surface, which appears almost like a natural material thanks to its clearly visible fibres.
Until then fibreglass was unknown in the furniture industry, having been primarily restricted to military applications such as aircraft radomes and cockpit covers. The Eameses recognised and fully exploited the advantages of the material: mouldability, rigidity and suitability for industrial manufacturing methods. They successfully developed the moulded seat shells for mass production: the Fiberglass Chair was born. Its organically shaped, one-piece shell proved to be a much-admired innovation at a time when chairs typically consisted of a seat and backrest. Fibreglass offered the added advantage of pleasant tactile qualities and a perfectly moulded form for optimal comfort.
A Black with Feeling
For Charles and Ray Eames, black was not just black but a colour with many dimensions. The couple mainly used a limited scale of subtle and neutral colours for their furniture designs, but each palette was thoroughly researched and carefully selected.
While working on the Eames Fiberglass Chairs
in the early 1950s, Charles and Ray Eames designed a range of nuanced
shades for the chairs. No colours for fibreglass had existed before
Charles and Ray Eames designed their plastic chairs.
fibreglass colours developed by the Eameses were Greige, a portmanteau
which hinted at a beige-grey, Elephant Hide Grey, a warm black-grey, and
Parchment, which was notoriously translucent. Shortly afterward, still
in the early production phase, Sea Foam Green was added, along with a
bright Lemon Yellow and a fresh Red Orange. Later these were followed by
an array of other colours.
One hue that apparently caused the most frustration and was the most
difficult to achieve was a warm blackish grey – after several attempts
Charles Eames expressed: ‘What I really want is a black with feeling’.
These efforts ultimately resulted in the colour the Eameses called
Elephant Hide Grey.
Vitra manufactures the Fiberglass Side Chairs by Charles and Ray Eames in six of the original colours. The fibreglass shells have a lively visual appeal that is much-prized today. Fibreglass owes its charm to an irregular surface, which appears almost like a natural material thanks to its clearly visible fibres. The version with a polypropylene shell – the Eames Plastic Chairs– also remain available. Together the two chair groups form an extensive family, enabling countless variations of the classic Eames design, with a suitable version for almost every taste and purpose
When you are conceiving an office project, it’s important to capture the spirit of the company. If you manage to do that, good design happens almost by itself.
Developed by British architect Sevil Peach, the Company Home shows an example corporate headquarters created as a harmonious work environment that includes a park and a dining area; elements from the public realm that are becoming an integral part of more and more head offices. Such multi-use areas give employees a sense of well-being and offer opportunities for concentrated work, meetings or rest phases.
If it’s true that that public spaces are influencing the internal function of office interiors it’s also true that the work zone is spilling into public spaces.
Formal work rules are dissolving, regardless of where and how we work – now frequently in hotel lobbies or cafés. As a result, the desk is no longer at the centre of our work life. It is disappearing as an archetype.
Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby
The Shared Office blurs the boundaries between the office and public space where public work environments in the form of co-working spaces, cafés and hotel lobbies are becoming the norm. Increasingly companies are opening their ground floor spaces to the public. There is little demand for the classic desk in such places – rather, large sofas form the hub of new working practices. As a platform around which the workday revolves, they are equipped with power connections, worktops and privacy screens. Additional tables and chairs are grouped around the sofa and can be pulled up as needed. As part of this concept, Soft Work is a new modular sofa system that responds to today’s needs, developed in collaboration with the designers Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby.
The idea is that of an empty space that can be redesigned to suit new purposes at any time, or just as quickly be restored to its original set-up. I find it extremely interesting not to create a definite layout. A good analogy would be sports halls, which can be configured to suit a wide variety of sports and activities.
Konstantin Grcic’s concept for the Super Flexible Office is all about creativity, communication and innovation. Users can easily rearrange this office on their own: divider curtains, mobile partition walls, furniture on castors and stacking chairs make it possible to create differently sized rooms for myriad uses in just seconds. The Super Flexible Office can be frequently reconfigured while always maintaining its identity – now a meeting room, then a café, tomorrow a communal space. At Orgatec, Vitra showcased two new products in the Super Flexible Office concept: Dancing Wall, created by Stephan Hürlemann, and Rookie, a small task chair for agile workplaces, designed by Konstantin Grcic.
Walter Knoll has always advocated modernity. A recent visit to Walter Knoll’s HQ near Stuttgart provided us with an insight into this remarkable and forward thinking family and company.
The company had its origins as far back as 1865 when Walter’s father Wilhelm opened a leather shop in Stuttgart. This soon became a successful company and was taken over by Wilhelm’s sons in 1907. Walter founded Walter Knoll in 1925, building on many years of experience in his father’s successful leather business. Early developments included the furnishing of several show flats for the 1927 Die Wohnung exhibition at Stuttgart’s trailblazing Weissenhof Estate that featured work by architects such as Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius. Post-war, Walter Knoll have striven to push the boundaries of modern living, presenting the Vostra chair in 1949 and continuing into the 50s with a series of modern designs such as the bucket seat 369 (still considered a modern classic). In 1993 the company was purchased by the Benz family and continues to promote the ethos of masterly craftsmanship, fine materials and lasting design. The company is now one of the leading furnishing manufacturers in the international high-end segment working with renowned architects and designers such as Norman Foster, Pearson Lloyd, EOOS, Ben van Berkel, Kengo Kuma and Claudio Bellini.
A walk around the factory headquarters in Herrenberg (which has been the base of Walter Knoll since 1937) provides an insight into Walter Knoll’s incredible attention to detail and quality. We begin outside viewing the company’s high-tech multi-award winning building from without. An edifice of glass, steel and concrete greets us, but it is the glass facade that dominates; an open invitation into the heart of the company, where cutting, sewing, upholstering, testing and packing take place. Inside, the story of quality continues: the employees know their stuff and are passionate about their work. Leather, for example, makes up 70% of the company’s output and is sourced locally from specially approved and selected tanneries in Central Europe. Once at the factory it is thoroughly checked and tested, the tiniest natural features being marked with water-soluble chalk before cutting templates are projected onto the hide to provide the most efficient use of the hide and indicate areas that require the best quality leather. This ethos permeates into other parts of the production including fabric, seams, and surface finishes. The attention to detail and the resulting quality of the product is phenomenal.
Walter Knoll also aim for products that are ecologically sustainable and socially responsible. Their sumptuous Legends of Carpet range for example is created by artisans, hand-dyed and hand-knotted in the Himalayas following centuries-old traditions and using locally sourced wool. Each carpet may take four or five craftsmen up to five months to create. The workshops comply with Fair Trade Organisation guidelines on working conditions and fair wages.
The company is proud of its heritage, still producing classic designs that have stood the test of time as well as new designs that follow the same ethos. Well-crafted, well-engineered, minimalist and timeless design is by definition sustainable design. Such products require less material and will last for decades.
The company’s sustainability ethic transfers through to their buildings as well. Our trip concluded with a visit to Walter Knoll’s production facility in nearby Mötzingen. The building features optimised insulation, heat pumps, concrete core thermal activation, sprinkler tanks for heat storage, solar panels and flood detention basins.
Welcome to the world of Walter Knoll. A truly modern way of life.
A dining room is not merely a dining room anymore. Fritz Hansen have introduced a new wooden chair for the modern home and quality-conscious audience – the N01 chair designed by the Japanese design studio Nendo. Created by the merging of Danish and Japanese aesthetics and purity, N01 brings back nature and embraces the essence of timeless wood craftsmanship.
“If you sit on it, you will notice that this is a Fritz Hansen chair. If you live with it, you will realise that this is pure Japanese design.” Oki Sato, Nendo
Japanese and Danish design traditions have a lot in common and the new dining chair N01 is a sublime example of this – an armchair that is both minimalist and highly detailed. N01 is a chair fit for the many moments we share at home, be they with our family, around our favourite meal, or working on a project that excites us.
Nendo represents a design language that both complements the Fritz Hansen design DNA and at the same time challenges it with a new take on working with genuine craftsmanship. N01 is a very honest design that tells the story of the warmth of wood and of uncompromising quality. Its light expression is serene and seductive and its construction is clever and crafted with Japanese perfectionism. N01 combines a seat and a back in nine layers of veneer – characteristic of the Fritz Hansen stacking chair collection – while the base is a pure and elegant interpretation of working with solid wood.
“With N01 we wanted to make a contemporary wooden dining chair, linking back to our history in terms of both design and craft. We aim for exceptional comfort and beautiful design by not making any compromises. With this in mind we found Nendo to be the perfect match.” Christian Andresen, Head of Design, Fritz Hansen.
Whilst the N01 chair is an honest and translucent design, its meticulous attention to detail is at times hidden in the complex, well-crafted construction. The meeting between the shell and the armrests is a tale of its own. To express a pure and noiseless appearance the joint sections are designed to look as if they are touching each other as little as possible. At the same time, the skeleton of the chair shows immense strength and makes the design suitable for heavy use made to last for generations.
The creation of the N01 chair requires a meticulous attention to the construction. The chair is constructed as a puzzle consisting of 23 wood pieces in a mix of solid wood and veneer. While the chair is assembled by hand, each piece is crafted industrially at a Belgian family owned wood manufacturer founded 1924. The puzzle-like assembling ensures that the construction rich in detail comes across as seamless as possible in the design. Uncompromising precision is key and even the smallest inaccuracies will cause the production to start over.
N01 is available in black coloured oak, natural oak and beech with optional seat cushions in fabric or leather. Available now.
Danish manufacturer Republic of Fritz Hansen have produced this rather delightful review magazine of their releases this year at the Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair. This year they pay homage to the classics, the relaunches and the novelties, including the re-introduction of Arne Jacobsen’s Pot Chair.
We are delighted to offer the review magazine in full: