Monoshell Chair by Philippe Starck for Alessi

Monoshell Chair by Philippe Starck for Alessi

There is a satisfying balance to Monoshell Chair. Call it an easy equilibrium. The minimalist-inspired beech wood grounds the chair in a natural softness. There’s warmth in that wood. You can almost feel it. The cold-press metal on the other hand—that steel—elicits a chill. With its surprisingly fluid texture, the mirror-polished sheet of Monoshell Chair for Alessi harmoniously envelopes the parts made of wood, creating something recognizable: a seat.

A close up of the steel of Monoshell Chair

“The Poêle Chair started as a serious joke,” Philippe Starck recounts. Starck, the French industrial architect and designer, is known for an element of playfulness running through his work. His multifaceted inventiveness has made him a pioneer of the concept of democratic design.

Philippe Starck with Monoshell Chair

Alberto Alessi, President of Alessi Spa, had been trying to make a chair with Philippe Starck for almost 20 years. As the story goes, there was apparently a sketch of a frying pan with legs and this idea of adapting the high-tech pan to a completely different purpose. The goal was to make use of the Alessi Italian cold-press metal high-technology. “Finally,” he said, “we did it. And, as is always the case with Starck,” he went on, “it started with a subversion.”

“The Poêle Chair elegantly incarnates the most beautiful symptoms of human intelligence: humour and technology,” Starck says. “Very much like my friendship to Alberto Alessi.”

Monoshell Chair in kitchen

Starck’s creations include ordinary household objects re-imagined, such as citrus squeezers, doorstops, and fly swatters. His latest work includes a penchant for energy transition technology, as seen in his sleek and modern hydrogen refueling station known as HRS BY STARCK. HRS BY STARCK is on display at the Dubai COP28 in the “Green Zone.”

Philippe Starck

To find out more about Philippe Starck, read his 3rings Designer Profile.

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