During Milan Design Week this year, Kartell celebrated its 70th birthday with “The Art Side of Kartell”, an exhibition that unfolded inside the famous Appartamento dei Principi in Milan’s Palazzo Reale showcasing past and present designs. Through stories of design collaboration, research, innovation, art, and revolutionary processes of technology, the exhibition explored the brands history including its post-WWII radical moment when Italian designers like Joe Colombo, Anna Castelli Ferrieri and Gaetano Pesce were reimagining furniture and materials at a time when the world was going through huge social change. It is this approach to research and collaboration that continues to shape Kartell today.
Kartell has always been open to collaborations in order to achieve a variety of production solutions by investing in technological innovation and materials that allow it to create increasingly efficient, high-performance products. Joining the ‘ContamiNation’ collection described by Kartell as closely linked to the concepts of “uniqueness" and “identity”, the Smatrik combines Yoshioka’s experimental ideas with Kartell’s sophisticated production technology. At Kartell design projects are based on craftsmanship but always involve innovative industrial processes. Developing the Smatrik required a complex mould for the delicate seat with its overlapping layers of polycarbonate. Here, Yoshioka’s design reduces the seat to an essential structure which is light and strong and highly decorative.
By challenging Kartell’s production team to develop a sophisticated new process, Matrix continues the legacy of creative and technological evolution described by Kartell’s president, Claudio Luti, as part of kartell’s DNA.
The Smatrik collection of chairs includes the Matrix Rocking chair with a timber or metal base, and a series of high stools that were launched during Milan Design Week.