inspiration series 2 CHAIRS+DESIGN


This week our series looks at the very latest from inspirational international furniture and product designers including Konstantin Grcic, with a focus on different seating styles.

In response to ecological concerns, designers are creating new materials for durability and longevity which compliment traditionally sustainable elements and practices. Designs are pared down, minimal, with strong yet curious silhouettes; the materials are high quality and highly texturised.

Jeonghwa Seo : structure for use

Seoul based Jeonghwa Seo has created a collection of seating exploring structural form and space, aesthetics and durability. Legs of cast aluminium or brass are paired with solid rosewood or basalt tops in different combinations, including benches that stack and seats with side tables. The designer wants users to discover their own ways of using the different forms and tactilities of the benches.

from the STRUCTURE FOR USE collection by JEONGHWA SEO. Image: www.jeonghwaseo.comfrom the STRUCTURE FOR USE collection by JEONGHWA SEO. Image:

Torafu architects : dollhouse chair

Torafu Architects (Koichi Suzuno and Alicja Strzyżyńska) have designed a chair for children which can be used as a dollhouse, for storage and as a seat.

When split apart down the middle, the chair reveals the shape of a house with a red gable roof. Kids can play dollhouse with their toys and stow them away with other small objects by shutting the chair once playtime is over. They then have their own seat to use, knowing their secrets are safely hidden inside. These three distinct functions make the dollhouse chair a very original and versatile piece of furniture, designed with longevity in mind.

Founded in 2004, in Tokyo, works by the duo include a diverse range of products, from architectural design to interior design for shops, exhibition space design, product design, spatial installations and film making.


Konstantin Grcic : allstar

ALLSTAR is an office chair with strong references to chairs outside the office, defying the typical office stereotype. It expresses a sense of familiarity and casualness which make it suitable for a wide variety of settings, both professional and domestic.

It has a five-star swivel base, an adjustable synchronised mechanism, seat depth and height adjustment and an adjustable backrest. The large loop armrest, which shapes the identity of ALLSTAR, also represents the main structural element on which the mechanical unit of the chair is hinged.

Munich based Konstantin Grcic set up his practice in 1991 and has since won many prestigious awards for his designs. In 2007 Phaidon published KGID Konstantin Grcic Industrial Design, and the same year Haus der Kunst showed a retrospective of his work.

ALLSTAR by KONSTANTIN GRCIC. Image: www.konstantin-grcic.comALLSTAR by KONSTANTIN GRCIC. Image:

Jonas Edvard & Nikolaj Steenfatt : terroir

This is the work of two graduates from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. The project uses a new material developed from seaweed and paper and was developed by research into local materials. By combining seaweed and paper the designers have created a tough and durable material.

It is best described as a warm and tactile surface with the softness of cork and the lightness of paper. The colour of the material is determined by the different species of seaweed – ranging from dark brown to light green. The seaweed is harvested along the beach of Denmark. After being dried it is ground into powder and cooked into a glue, utilizing the viscous and adhesive effect of Alginate – the natural polymer of  brown algae. 

The aim of the project was to design objects with character derived from the cultural surface of the landscape. By using locally harvested materials the two designers hope to contribute to a local and sustainable economy. The materials are created from renewable resources and the production acts as a recycling of natural materials in a green loop of energy.


mut design : twins

The collection consists of two genetically similar armchairs. Born under the same premises, they each keep their own personality and exclusive features, so that they can work perfectly together or separately.

They employ a new technical fabric - an elastic tridimensional polyester mesh developed especially for the product and for Spanish furniture brand Expormim, which manufactures the designs - which means the chairs are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

MUT design was founded by Alberto Sánchez in 2010. This multidisciplinary team is also a publisher whose values are based upon the principle of emotive design. Since its conception MUT has aimed to experiment with and redefine everyday objects.

TWINS by MUT DESIGN. Image: www.mutdesign.comTWINS by MUT DESIGN. Image:

Richard clarkson : cradle

This New York and New Zealand based studio established in 2013 has designed a comfortable, relaxing seating space in which users can feel secluded and safe. The design was heavily influenced by a synthesis of research into Autism and children with Rhythmic Movement Disorder (RMD) as well as safety, sustainability, function and aesthetics, but the chair will bring relaxation, comfort and calmness to anyone who uses it. 

The cotton is a natural cotton canvas and treated with a natural plant based stain repellent. The cushions use pure New Zealand wool and the wood is waxed using a natural treatment. The glue used to form the wood is aliphatic wood glue which is also non-toxic. Clarkson has worked to make the design flat-pack and more durable, and by using a Velcro formation, the cushions are also washable.

CRADLE by RICHARD CLARKSON. Image: www.richardclarkson.comCRADLE by RICHARD CLARKSON. Image:


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