Shapes from the world of vegetation serve as inspiration for Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec’s Vegetal chair, as they did for Algues. Its plant-like structure made of coloured polyamide goes to the limits of the technically feasible, and the six colours (unusual for plastic chairs) emphasise the link to nature.
„As designers, it is our task to find new structures, new construction forms.“ - Ronan Bouroullec
The interest of Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec in organic shapes is already demonstrated in the “Algues”, which they designed for Vitra in 2004. This passion - and the knowledge of a technique, with which in North America in the 19th century young trees were shaped into chairs during their growth - inspired the designers to create a chair which looks as if it would have naturally grown.
Neither Ronan nor Erwan Bouroullec nor Vitra knew what kind of boundaries would have to be explored until the new chair - Vegetal - would meet the common standards: they didn’t want a design that merely looked as if he had grown naturally. They rather wanted the construction of the organically grown structure as close as possible to reality, in order for it to be credibly reinterpreted.
It took four years of intensive joint work between the first ideas to the presentation of the finished chair made from coloured polyamide: The flat, branch-like ribs are asymmetrically intertwined on three levels to form the seat shell, which is shaped as an irregular circle and supported by four legs that appear to sprout from the ground. The goal was to create a chair that aspires to look like natural vegetation while simultaneously incorporating the necessary strength, stability and comfort. The process involved countless prototypes and an intense exploration of injection moulding technology.
The Vegetal Chair by Vitra is available in different colours with plastic gliders (for carpets), or optionally with felt pads (for hardwood floors) and with a chrome-plated and powder coated steel frame.