About ten years ago, designer Manfred Kielnhofer jumped ahead of the sustainable curve with his Paper Tube Chair. Taking its cue, perhaps, from Frank Gehry’s iconic Wiggle Chair, Kielnhofer used the eminently-recyclable and oft-discarded form of newspapers—rolled into tight tubes, pressure-molded, and stacked just so. In addition to being a noteworthy shot across the bow of waste and energy-intensive manufacture, Paper Tube boasted a distinctive silhouette and compelling aesthetic. Now, Kielnhofer has parlayed that look into a decidedly different creature: the Interlux Plexiglas Chair.
Interlux Plexiglas Chair. Designed by Manfred Kielnhofer.
Interlux is Lighting Installation and Chair in One
Interlux is certainly a conceptual brethren of Paper Tube, but these are siblings that have struck out on entirely different paths. While Paper Tube is a utilitarian workhorse, Interlux is a stunning showstopper. The piece is constructed of a handful of large circumference Plexiglas tubes, into which Kielnhofer has cleverly inserted a range of equally cylindrical neon tubes.
The blazing neon lights suspended in the absolutely transparent Plexiglas creates a kinetic effect, putting me in mind of any number of depictions of space travel. The escape scene from Logan’s Run comes to mind, as does the “hyper-drive” sequence of the original Star Wars, when the jump to “light speed” left a retinal impression of passing stars as lengthy lines of light.
The Interlux Chair definitely broaches the line between design and art, not only because of its daring aesthetic, but also because of its exclusivity (reported costs hover around $2,500). Even so, if you find its synthesis of lighting and seating particularly compelling, you should have no qualms about taking it for a spin, so to speak. It’s one piece that will definitely make a lasting impression.
About the Designer: Manfred Kielnhofer is a designer and visual artist with a versatile skill set and a surpassing curiosity. His media have included painting, film, photography, performance, and sculpture. Though he has a particular interest in the human body—in all its mobile dynamism—he’s also fascinated by the purity of geometric forms. He’s captured the latter most memorably with his Paper Tube and Interlux Plexiglas Chairs.