Manufacturer Dedon turned 20 this year. And though that's hardly old, they have no qualms about asserting their design prowess, especially in regards to their signature achievements in woven polypropylene: "The first to weave synthetic fiber into luxury outdoor designs, the first to place an absolute premium on quality, the first to become a truly global brand, DEDON revolutionized the business of outdoor furniture from the moment we took production into our own hands." The company definitely has a point, for how else to explain their recent collaboration with superstar Philippe Starck, whose Play Collection of fun and fanciful chairs is grabbing many an A & D headline this month.
Play. Designed by Philippe Starck for Dedon.
"Play" is the perfect name for a line designed by Starck. One might fairly make the claim that his design philosophy is heavy on imagination. In fact, he describes his process thusly: "I was dreaming... I had a vision... I have an idea, and I design a pure concept. From the brain to the final chair it's completely dematerialized... it's automatique" (throw in a rather heavy French accent for the full "Starckian" effect).
In regards to one of the collection's standout pieces--the Play Lounge Chair--the imaginative process must have involved channeling the funky modern vibe of Henrik Thor-Larsen, whose Ovalia Egg Chair achieved iconic status in the late 60s. But really the resemblance is only skin deep. While Thor-Larsen's piece was a true ovoid, Starck's has a thinner, slightly irregular profile. In fact, its single-piece molded polypropylene and fiberglass construction and plush vibrant orange interior puts me in mind of a halved and pitted papaya. With its multiple incarnations (floor lounger, hanging lounger, and a base-less pair perched on a pretty platform), the Play Lounger is sure to be every bit as sweet and twice as refreshing.