Owing to the dashing aesthetic and environmental-awareness exemplified in Aparte Studio’s Katra Chair, it seems it’s time to introduce a new term into the A&D lexicon. Ramie, a flowering plant in the Nettle family native to Eastern Asia, has been used in textiles since ancient Egypt. But it wasn’t until 2011—when Aparte Studio figured out how to spin it out into a durable, strong, and attractive composite—that it’s true potential shone through.
Katra Chair. Designed and Manufactured by Aparte Studio.
Aparte Studio’s Katra Chair Represents a Giant Leap Forward in Plant-Derived Ecological Bioplastics
Up until now, Ramie’s most renowned application was as the outermost cloth in the shrouds of Egyptian mummies. In light of the material’s innate resistance to bacteria and fungi, this usage is self-explanatory, but it proved historically resistant to expanded use, largely because of difficulties in processing.
As the lovely Katra Chair clearly demonstrates, however, Aparte Studio has overcome these obstacles. The chair is long and lithe, with a lean profile and clean lines that reflect its plant based origins. Indeed, Katra is so thin that—seen from certain angles—it resembles a sheet of paper skillfully folded into some icon of “chairness,” as if its maker were a master in the ancient art of Origami.
The designers at Aparte Studio may not be familiar with that particular art form, but they are nevertheless true artisans of shape and style. Katra is slim and sexy—appealing from both an aesthetic vantage and an ecological one. Stronger and more environmentally-friendly than fiberglass, more mold-able than wood or metal, Ramie and Katra herald a new age in plant-derived ecological bioplastics: “In utilizing the intrinsic qualities of the material—strength, lightness, and formal definition—Katra captures a look and style that only composites can create.”
About the Manufacturer: In designing and manufacturing their impressive line-up of chairs, sofas, storage units, and home accessories, Aparte Studio takes a multi-disciplinary approach. This means they incorporte the skills of artists, artisans, and interior designers as they “formulate brands, imagine products, design websites, and create interior spaces.” The company has recently pioneered the use of Ramie, an East Asian flowering plant, into an ecologically-friendly bioplastic—a durable composite that shows excellent potential for sustainable furniture.