Article from the 2015-04-01, by Anja Beckmann
What looks like plastic is an innovative mix of materials with wood in it. The internationally famous design pair Boris Berlin and Aleksej Iskos designed an unforgettable chair with the Fiber Chair by Muuto: Powerful, comfortable and with a unique natural look. It was an aim of the team to design a chair which had the original form of a chair but innovative materials. The designers wanted to catch the beauty of wood, in order to create an aesthetical, natural surface. They succeeded.
Two and a half years was how long the process of design took, until the final production of the Fiber Chair. The production was challenged by many things. The team was searching and developing for the right wood-plastic mix for the construction of the seat during more than one year.
It is difficult to keep the ground contact while you design, said the design team. The Fiber Chair is one of the objects whose clear design dates back to the function of it being used every day – despite of the powerful identity of it. The designers also thought about the environment: “One of the most difficult and noble disciplines is to design without eccentricity. To create simple, well-functioning, almost ordinary objects that nevertheless have strong identities. We designed Fiber Chair to do just that with a clear sculptural language that refuses to compromise on comfort. It’s a chair stripped of all unnecessary layers leaving the chair with a seat, back and armrests that is integrated in one harmonious shell, perfect for nesting yourself into. The iconic form marries soft, embracing curves with an environmentally friendly wood fibre composite, giving Fiber Chair a distinctive tactile texture while also keeping it 100% recyclable.”
One of the world’s leading distributors of materials supplied the team with the material of the Fiber Chair. The company had to find high class, natural materials, which were suitable to be processed in an injection mould procedure without losing the original form of the design. The material company, the designers and Muuto worked closely together in this part of the creation of the chair. A computer controlled load simulation was done several times in the material company and supported by the Institute of Technology in Denmark, until the perfect material was found.
The Fiber Chair is made of a completely recyclable material mix with 25 percent wooden fiber. The material survives generations, it can also be recycled. Only one percent of new material would be necessary for it. This means that there is a warm, unique material where we expect to find plastic. If you look a little bit closer you will recognize the fine wooden fibers.
Each Fiber Chair has its own identity. This one comes from the wood in it. If pinewood used for every chair comes from the same place of Sweden, the surface structure and the colour are slightly different in each piece – 500 meters between each tree already make a big difference. Since the flat material is wonderfully suitable to be upholstered, Muuto’s assortment of fabrics and leather cushions grew with the time. Combined with different chair legs – tube, wood and swivel base – the Fiber Chair group became a huge family. There is a perfectly suitable Fiber Chair for every furnishing. Maybe for yours too.