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Categories: ContractEducation

It’s All in the Grid: X3 by Knoll

Just because a school, office, or hotel is looking for furniture with longevity doesn’t mean they have to settle for mediocre design. The X3 chair by Knoll features sturdy materials—chrome-plated steel and polycarbonate—in a stackable form that is both colorful and interesting. Its unique construction is part of its charm: “X3 is a one-piece shell, obtained by the bi-injection of transparent polycarbonate and a desmopan colored lattice.”

X3. Designed by Marco Maran. Manufactured by Knoll.

One-Shell Chair with Complex Molding Technology

With a visible grid pattern (it reminds me of graph paper—and I, like nerds everywhere, love graph paper) peeking through a translucent shell, the X3 chair offers “a unique, versatile effect.” In fact, the grid might be the key to X3’s appeal. Dutch graphic designer and typographer Wim Crouwel once said, “A design should have some tension and some expression in itself.” He compared it to a football field, which “is a strict grid. In this grid you play a game and these can be nice games or very boring games.” In the case of X3, the game is quite nice.

X3 is “ideal for educational applications,” as well as cafés and residences, because it will withstand use (and abuse). Conveniently, X3 chairs stack up to 15, so they can be put away easily. Plus, the flex back makes it a comfortable chair. All great benefits, although the greatest boon may be its good looks. Imagine a school lounge, cafeteria, or lecture hall filled with X3 chairs in different gleaming colors. The grid inside coupled with the curved shell offers a perfect contrast. And the translucent colors look like gems or Charms candies—much more welcoming than the standard stackables.


About the Manufacturer: Knoll creates contract furniture that maintains “a commitment to innovation and modern design.” Founded in 1938, Knoll is headquartered in Pennsylvania, where one of their four North American manufacturing sites is also located (the others are in Michigan and Ontario). From tables and desks to textiles and accessories, Knoll offers a comprehensive portfolio of furniture designed “with imagination and vision.” Over 40 of Knoll’s products are in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Posted January 12th, 2012 by Alicita Rodriguez


  • Camilla Tosi

    This is a chair is by Maxdesign not by Knoll.

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