May 1, 2023

Reimagining Iconic Designs: From Maison Dior to Tom Dixon

Author: Radmila Durasinovic
Tags: Design / Showcase Category: magazine

Reimagining Iconic Designs: From Maison Dior to Tom Dixon

The Salone del Mobile, as one of the most important design events, is a place where the biggest names in the furniture industry converge to display their innovation and creativity. For the Salone del Mobile 2022, Dior Maison joined forces with Philippe Starck, to reimagine the classic Dior Medallion chair on the 75th birthday of the iconic design, which Starck calls the “perfect little chair”. Together, they conjured up the Miss Dior chair, a refined version of the famous seat, resulting from a pursuit of the purest possible silhouette. The use of lightweight aluminum, valued for its durability and simplicity, further emphasizes the seat's clean lines. After Miss Dior came the Monsieur Dior armchair, as a continuation of the fruitful partnership and different variation of the Medallion chair. Whereas Miss Dior represents lightness, Monsieur Dior is gravity—together the two designs weave a story of a sublime complementary duality, which was showcased in an immersive and poetic installation at this year’s Milan Design Week.

Collaborations like this are not rare in the world of furniture design. They are often reserved for important occasions such as milestone anniversaries or big design events, where furniture companies seek to breathe new life into iconic designs by infusing them with fresh creative perspectives. These collaborations serve as a veritable melting pot of artistic talent, melding together diverse perspectives and unique artistic visions, ultimately resulting in inspired works that elevate furniture design to new heights. Inspired by the enchanting Dior by Starck collection, we explore five creative collaborations that have reinvented some of the most iconic furniture designs.

Archibald armchair ©Poltrona Frau

Poltrona Frau and Felipe Pantone

Poltrona Frau celebrated its 110th anniversary with a collaboration with Argentine-Spanish visual artist Felipe Pantone. The result was the limited-edition Archibald armchair: a deft balance of Poltrona Frau's rich heritage and Pantone's vibrant digital language. The collaboration also echoes the brand's commitment to sustainability, with the use of a new leather material called Impact Less that reduces the environmental footprint of leather production. The creative cross-pollination between Poltrona Frau and Pantone showcases that art and furniture-making can unite in a beautiful and unexpected way, producing a fresh interpretation of a design icon. Pantone’s spin on the Archibald armchair is a mix of past, present, and future, blending a contemporary pixelated pattern with the armchair’s classic design.

CH24 Soft by Hans J. Wegner & Ilse Crawford ©Carl Hansen & Søn

Carl Hansen & Søn and Ilse Crawford

In a tribute to the 70-year partnership between the visionary Hans J. Wegner and Carl Hansen & Søn, the company collaborated with designer Ilse Crawford, to unveil the Wishbone Chair in nine new colors. The world-renowned Wishbone Chair (CH24), crafted by Wegner in 1949 and continuously produced by Carl Hansen & Søn ever since, has been given a refreshing new look. Crawford chose a palette of nine captivating matte colors that are both eco-friendly and resilient. These hues are a celebration of the Nordic landscape's raw beauty, with each color inspired by the plants, minerals, and soil of this terrain. With evocative names such as Pewter, Hollyhock, Barley, Seaweed, Terracotta, Clay, North Sea, Slate, and Falu, the subdued tones capture the essence of the Nordic landscape and breathe new life into the 70-year-old icon.

Le Bambole © B&B Italia

B&B Italia and Stella McCartney

A collaboration between British fashion designer Stella McCartney and Italian furniture giant B&B Italia resulting in the Stella McCartney x B&B Italia Capsule Collection paid tribute to the 50th anniversary of Mario Bellini’s iconic Le Bambole series. Introduced at Stella McCartney’s “Future of Fashion” material innovation installation during Milan Design Week in June 2022, the collection is inspired by shared sustainability values, fusing the quality and durability of B&B Italia pieces with the responsible materials of McCartney’s designer mission. Le Bambole’s structure was revised using recycled materials that retain the iconic shape, comfort and breathability of the iconic seat, while 100% biodegradable fabric was used for the upholstery. Adding a touch of whimsy to the original design, the sofas are upholstered in a hand-drawn "Fungi Forest" Toile de Jouy print from the Stella McCartney Summer 2022 runway collection.

Bowl Chair ©Macofilm

Arper and Rubelli

In a celebration of modernist architect Lina Bo Bardi's 2021 posthumous Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at La Biennale di Venezia, Furniture manufacturer Arper and Rubelli, an esteemed Venetian textile company, produced a special edition of Bo Bardi's Bowl Chair. Drawing inspiration from the architect's vibrant, eclectic style, the iconic chair is upholstered in a choice of two Rubelli fabrics - Lollipop and Eureka. With the new choice of upholstery, Arper has elevated the Bowl Chair to a new level of tactile and visual pleasure, one that fully embodies the vivacious spirit of Lina Bo Bardi and her Brazilian roots, therefore effortlessly blending Italian and Brazilian cultures into a stunning design synthesis.

S Chair ©Tom Dixon

Tom Dixon and Peju Obasa

Conceived three decades ago by Tom Dixon, The S Chair is an object of industrial innovation, with its fluid, sculptural form widely recognized today. To mark the occasion of London Craft Week 2020, talented knitwear designer Peju Obasa was invited to offer her creative take on this timeless classic. Obasa, a master of crochet and upcycling, chose to work with Econyl, a sustainable nylon created from fishing nets and other discarded nylon products. To give the chair a new lease of life, Obasa carefully replaced the original material with crocheted silver yarn wrapped around the metal frame. Her design is now located in the Coal Office in London's Kings Cross, where a museum dedicated to the S Chair displays the various iterations in different materials created through Dixon’s frequent collaborations with artists from around the world, all of whom have brought their unique vision to the chair's fluid form.

May 1, 2023 Author: Radmila Durasinovic
Tags: Design / Showcase Category: magazine

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