Just when you thought that everything which could be designed already has been, from Thonet chairs to Le Corbusier-esque chair-machines and from Gio Ponti type reinterpretations of the traditional chair to more recent studies developed on the archetype of Enzo Mari, along comes something new.

It never ceases to amaze how the chair – the favourite theme of great and small designers alike – finds new forms of expression year after year, with different variations on the genre, from the highly innovative to revisitations of the recent or distant past, explored at each edition of the Furniture Show.

The chair is by no means a superfluous object, it is an essential element of any interior and is found in every possible space, from the most humble to the most luxurious, and from the public area to the private home. Through ongoing research into materials and technology, it also plays an important and varied role in the furniture market, responding to the most disparate demands.

The offerings of the 2008 edition tackled the conceptual theme of the chair from a variety of different approaches: some focused on advanced technology used to achieve new surface effects, others reinterpreted the concept of solidity whereas others again revisited historical models, redefined in a modern key, or cited materials and forms from the 1950s.

Ami ami, meaning ‘to weave’ in Japanese, is a chair in transparent polycarbonate created by the renowned Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka. The design brings the culmination of complex technological research by Kartell (to make the production of a chair entirely in polycarbonate possible) together with a delicate stylised interpretation of the weave of a fabric – a recurring motif in Japanese culture.

The article continues in Auto & Design no. 172

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