Cappellini and Newson Get Groovy with Felt

Since 1946, Cappellini has produced surprising furniture that appeals to many: “pleasure for itself and for others is always present.” Part of their success stems from employing young designers from around the world. In 1993, Cappellini turned to Australia, land of unbelievable flora and fauna (By unbelievable, I mean literally unbelievable: did you know that Victorian zoologists thought the platypus an elaborate hoax?). From the land down under hailed Marc Newson, the world-traveling designer who worked in Tokyo, Paris, and London.

Felt Chair. Designed by Marc Newson for Cappellini.

This gentleman gadabout focused his talents for Cappellini in 1993, producing the inventive Felt Chair. Don’t be fooled by the name; Felt Chair is made of fiberglass—shiny, gleaming, candi-colored fiberglass. This inimitable material created the amorphous noodle shape that falls somewhere between the beloved macaroni and the fanciful farfalle. Newson’s Felt Chair gets propped up by a polished aluminum leg that sets off the body’s vibrant colors: polished lacquer in yellow, orange, red, green, white, or black. Given these intense hues, it should come as no surprise that Newson’s pieces have appeared on the psychedelic sets of the Austin Powers films (groovy, baby).

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In many ways, the chosen color defines Felt Chair. In white, Felt Chair is like a canine dream—a giant, gleaming bone from a long extinct mammal. In red, Newson’s chair resembles a pair of glittering candy red lips (think 1980s Robert Plant). In black, it seems as if the receiver of a rotary telephone has transformed itself into a futuristic bug. However you view Felt Chair, it’s sure to enchant you by sparking your imagination (if not, you are devoid of creativity and must seek medical attention). Cappellini explains that its “products are never boring neither absurd, but they always possess something of alive and light, often full of healthy humor.” The paradoxical fiberglass Felt Chair achieves what Cappellini is known for: impish, intelligent design.

Posted July 23, 2009 by Alicita Rodriguez

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