The young British Designer Benjamin Hubert read industrial design in Loughborough University and opened his Design Studio that goes by his same name in 2007. His name first caught my attention with his award-winning Maritime Chair that he designed for Casamania. The Maritime Chair is one of my favourite chairs with its beautiful steam-bent plywood or solid oaks shell. After seeing the Maritime Chair, I was in the hunt for his other beautiful creations. This year, marks the first collaboration between Italian Furniture House Cappellini and Benjamin Hubert and the first result is the a lounge chair called “Garment”.
“Garment” is an interesting name for a furniture. Furniture are often made of solid materials such as wood, plastic, metal or upholstered with fabrics and leather. But will a chair ever wear clothes? In Benjamin Hubert’s dictionary, the answer is no more obvious than a “Yes”. Benjamin Hubert’s design philosophy is “Material Driven, Process Led and Industrial Design”. This design philosophy starts a design project at the point of the material selected for the project and the manufacturing process to be used. From there, the Industrial Design will create the result.
The Material in the case of Cappellini Garment is the textile covering the polyurethane foam form underneath. The process is the foam forming of polyurethane and the “stitch less” “upholstery” with the “stitch less” “upholstery” being a world’s first. Why I put upholstery in inverted commas? Since this chair is a study on dressing a piece of furniture, the “body” in this case, is the polyurethane form while the “clothes” is the textile (or strictly speaking, a fabric or Alcantara leather) that will be “worn” over the “body”. The chair is not upholstered, but wears a piece of clothing that can be shaped by Velcros attached to the textile.
How the Garment will look like against a clean Wall of White and Blue Accents.
This “upholstery” design is unconventional and defies all rules of furniture upholstering and it is fresh out in 2012. The “dress” is not a tight-fitting one though and the loose cover allows folding, which held together by Velcros to create creases that reminds me of Japanese origami, the art of paper-folding. This creates the extra dimensional depth for that fashion and visual impact. Like a dress, the cover can be easily removed and changed into a new one for that new look and feel to keep up with the fast paced fashion world. This means, that the chair can also take on a new form with different “clothing” and patterns. One chair, many different looks. The possibilities are infinite. Take a look at Lady Gaga and you can imagine how far a dress can take you. 🙂