Salone 2024: Arper’s Catifa Carta

Salone 2024: Arper’s Catifa Carta

Continue your Salone journey with a glimpse into the future of sustainable materials. Catifa Carta, an auspicious re-working of Arper’s beloved Catifa 53 from back in 2001, offers the self-same sumptuous curvature of the original with one jaw-dropping caveat: it’s made of paper!

Catifa Carta with piles of paper

The shell of Catifa Carta features PaperShell, a proprietary product from the Swedish company of the same name. Comprised of 29 sheets of Kraft paper, PaperShell is pressed into performance via heat, pressure, humidity, and natural resin-based binders: “Providing the strength and comfort essential to Catifa’s now iconic, tridimensional silhouette.”

Detail of PaperShell

On the one hand, Catifa Carta is reminiscent of Frank Gehry’s Wiggle Chair, an early example of high design achieved with everyday materials. On the other, it’s antithetical. While Wiggle proudly displayed its soul of cardboard, Catifa Carta seamlessly subsumes the sustainably sourced paper into the overall concept: a forward-thinking blueprint for eco-conscious design.

split view of final Chair and cut away of PaperShell layers

PaperShell also places a premium on carbon emissions throughout the product’s life cycle. The paper used is not from virgin trees but rather from wood waste products like sawdust, chips, and branches, which are processed into pulp and then paper.

Catifa Carta paper samples
Paper Shell paper rolls in different colors

The new line also incorporates a nifty protocol for tracking end of life. Each chair includes a unique QR code detailing material composition, maintenance requirements, and proper disposal methods. Speaking of which, PaperShell is designed for disposal via a process called pyrolisis, essentially incineration in the absence of oxygen. The method reduces carbon emissions to zero, as the material transforms into “biochar”—”Made up of up to 90% carbon, biochar effectively locks CO2… for every ton of carbon stored in biochar, about 3.67 tons of CO2 are prevented from entering the atmosphere.” Even better, the richly carbonized by-product is an excellent addendum for soil health.

Biochar detail

All of the above is icing on the cake. At Milan, what matters most is design, and just like the original, Catifa Carta is beautifully streamlined, luxurious and light, a modern masterwork that improves on its progenitor while retaining all of its beauty and charm.

Catifa Chair several views in nice kitchen at wooden table with view of woods

Visit Arper at booth C21 D12 and experience PaperShell and Catifa Carta in the flesh. Bonus: if you stop by on April 17 at 10 a.m., you can participate in the panel conversation, ”Catifa Carta Talk.” RSVP at

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