Weighing in at less than your average design magazine at just 2.2 kilograms, the Piuma chair developed by Kartell and Piero Lissoni explores new processes and technologies to recycle plastics from the automotive and farming industries – it's also a poetic nod to Achille Castiglioni who transformed industrial tractor parts back in the 1950s.
Kartell is synonymous with pushing the innovation envelope. It is famous for its transparent Ghost chairs developed with French designer Philippe Starck and its modular Componibili storage unit by Anna Castelli Ferrieri, both collection standouts and two of the group's most popular products for more than 20 years, the list goes on.
The new Piuma collection with Piero Lissoni is the result of two years of research at the group's manufacturing headquarters in Santa Corinna, Lombardy, just north of Milan, and demonstrates Kartell's close collaboration with designers and the pursuit to innovate, a focus for the group since they began in 1949.
"When I started working on this chair we very poetically looked at pieces from Formula One and from motorcycles", remarks Piero Lissoni. "Then Claudio brought me back to earth, bringing me other pieces made from the same material but used to make tractors."
To make Piuma light, and strong, the Kartell R&D department combined carbon fibre with recycled plastics using the injection moulding process. This ability to maintain strength, reduce the material use via Piero's design of a slender 2 millimetre shell and incorporate recycled plastics, means better sustainability across the entire production chain including the logics of transportation. It's a technology world-first and an important direction for Kartell.
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A career designing: buildings, furniture, electronics, ceramics, lighting, jewellery and textiles, Ettore Sottsass was a man of the world who wrote poetry and collected friends including Allen Ginssberg, Max Ernst, Bob Dylan and Pablo Picasso,. His work pushed and prodded the industry's new toy in the 1950s: industrialisation, to create designs that expressed an attitude that continues to connect today.