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The Best Chairs at Milan Design Week 2013

There is always much more to see at a furniture fair in terms of fabrics and textiles than is immediately obvious. A cursory look around the halls and exhibitions might seem to offer little in the way of weavings but a closer look will reveal that textiles do in fact play an important part in the development some seating.

There are pieces of furniture that have a passing reference to textiles in the highly competitive furniture market and others that go that little bit further and incorporate fabric and weaving into their very structure. Here are some of the more interesting examples gathered from the many exhibitions:


Ben Ryuki Miyagi Architectural Design

sella homo sapiens by Ben Ryuki Miyagi Architectural Design

Sella Homo Sapiens is made from four components that slot together to form a seat, making it lightweight and portable. Each section is made of metal tubes and plywood that are enclosed within layers of industrial felt sheets, the shapes can’t help but remind one of Mickey Mouse.

Elephant seating by Ben Ryuki Miyagi Architectural Design at Salone di Molbile

The ‘Elephant Seating’ sofa is made of layers of industrial felt sheets glued together and folded into position – no metal fasteners involved. Although it is a very dense and structured sofa, it is also very soft to the touch whilst maintaining stability and geometry.Re Bon Bon by Ben Ryuki Miyagi Architectural Design at Salone Di Mobile

Probably the most striking of this designer’s pieces is Re Bon Bon, made of two plastic sheets with felt adhered to each side providing a comfortable surface to sit on. The sheets are bent in such a way to form the undulating structure which is secured with metal rods.

Ben Ryuki Miyagi Architectural Design


Bokja Design

Bokja-Love Boat Beirut-based duo Bokja showed at Rosanna Orlandi Gallery their new range entitled Migration Stories. The masterpiece of the Collection is the Love Boat sofa.

Beirut-based duo Bokja showed at Rosanna Orlandi Gallery with their new range Migration Stories. The masterpiece of the collection is the Love Boat sofa, swiftly bought by Li Edelkoort. The range of patterns relate to stories of movement and change in Lebanon and reflect the impact of war, taxes, instability and love, and migration. As the designers say the collection “captures the very fundamental human experience of bundling up belongings, packing away treasure and moving on.”



Raw Edges presenting Kenny Moroso at Salone di Mobile

Moroso, whose stand and showroom is always a magnet for design junkies, presented many designs by top names with minimalism seeming to be a running theme as seen in Kenny by Raw Edges, a curved chair made using a simple folded strip – all about  the effortlessness of its geometry.



Estudio Guto Requena

Noize chair by Estudio Guto Requena Milan Design Week Rosanna Orlandi

Although there is no textile element here, the Noize chair, developed by Estudio Guto Requena, is simply fascinating. It is designed digitally from a mix of recordings off the streets of São Paulo and then a computer programme made by Estudio Guto Requena using language processing forms a 3D digital model of the sounds: the result is beyond just a seat, it is the audible made solid.

Estudio Guto Requena


Screen Shot 2013-05-09 at 13.01.12


Oferenda presented the Raft Collection, and is a reflection of the way a man relates to the sea. The embroidery of the metal frame represents the intertwining line between the sea and sky.



Noriko Hashida for 6474design

Noriko Hashida for 6474design Pages at Milan Design Week

The surface of this chair is similar to a book, and so it is rightly called Pages. By flipping over the cushions, you can adjust the height to suit your comfort as well as having a changing design, as the bar of the backrest can be removed to easily change colours.


Rui Pereira



unZip involves dressing up an old chair, instead of buying a new one. The concept is a reinvention of the conventional chair cover and a reflection of our compulsive need of having new objects. The product is a collaboration between HAF, product designer Rui Pereira and Ryosuke Fukusada. So rather than buy a new chair, why not order a new cover online and wait for the postman to deliver a new look!

Rui Pereira


Marni 100 chairs

The Italian fashion label Marni launched its design project 100 Chairs in 2012 but hosted a 2013 edition at Spazio Marni in Milan during Design Week. The latest designs show variations on the style of chairs, including chaise longues and rocking chairs. The new additions to the project which supports ex-prisoners in Columbia also introduce new colour combinations for the PVC threads. The chairs represent a common type used in the region’s homes and offers through its funding by Marni a vital stepping stone for people trying to adjust to non-institutional life.

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For more about he project visit Marni’s blog


Pal Rodenius

Swedish designer Pal Rodenius used a dhurrrie to upholster a basic wood frame for his char. Inspired by the Do-It-Yourself or DIY movement, he has come up with the perfect ruggie chair. The variety of designs and styles of flatweave that could be used opens up  a world of possibilities. Although DIY is the key, the kit form and easy to transport format recalls the campaign furniture invented for the travelling soldier in Victorian times.

Pal Rodenius Dhurrie chair at Rosanna Orlandi Milan Design Week 1_900

Pal Rodenius



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