Chairs with curves in all the right places

A new chair by Ron Arad to be launched next week during the Milan furniture fair has been part-produced in the UK using a technique more commonly associated with the automotive industry. The curvaceous one-piece shell of the Tomvac chair is vacuum-formed in aluminium, and anodised in bright colours to produce a mesmerising pattern of concentric circles. A limited edition of 500 is being produced, with a further 20 resin glass fibre models also available as collector’s items. A novel diversion for visitors to Milan will be a 9.5 metre-high stack of Tomvacs forming an information totem on Via Manzoni. The top chair will hold a live pixel board giving information about the design events in the city.

Also from Ron Arad Studio (but this time made in Italy) comes a range of as yet unnamed tables and tops in numerous shapes and sizes. A 120cm diameter spun stainless- steel table with a mirror polish finish forms the basis of the range. This can either be used as it is, or made larger by adding a composite top with “donut rings” designed to fit on to the circular tables. When not in use, the lightweight tops can simply be hung on the wall to become art.

For the Adidas sports cafés (DW News, 28 March), Arad has developed Fantastic Plastic Elastic, an industrialised version of a chair originally produced in plywood and cast aluminium for Mercedes.

Designed with Italian manufacturer Kartell in mind, Arad has created a stackable chair using a double-barrelled aluminium extrusion for the frame, and one-piece translucent plastic for the seat and back. Material wastage and costs have been kept down by using a piece of full-length tubing for the front leg and a half length for each of the two back legs. The tubing is fused on to a flat piece of translucent plastic, and the whole structure then bent to form the seat, while at the same time tightening the tube on to the plastic.

The requirement to have the chair available for the Adidas cafés has also speeded up the production process to just a few months, so for once you will see a new chair at Milan that is already on the production line.

Tomvac (opposite page, left)

Design: Ron Arad

Manufacturer: Ron Arad Studio, Italy

Resin version

Design: Ron Arad

Manufacturer: Ron Arad



Design: Ron Arad

Manufacturer: Ron Arad Studio, Italy

Fantastic Plastic Elastic

Design: Ron Arad

Manufacturer: Kartell

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