- Article by Online Editor
Most people will remember the curving, classic shape of a plastic shell chair. Whether it’s with fondness or not, it’s a furniture item that evokes memories of classrooms, conference halls and, of course, the accompanying clattering when they’re stacked together.
The new MR Chair, designed by Mario Ruiz for Schiavello, takes that familiar plastic shell and reinterprets it through new technology, a selection of high-quality materials and an exhaustive range of customisation options.
Having already collaborated on the Aire collection with the team at Schiavello, the highly acclaimed Spanish designer brought his years of experience to undertake the second range.
Driven by concepts of timelessness and nostalgia, Ruiz doesn’t shy away from the MR Chair’s source of inspiration, rather he gives it a contemporary update. Tapping into the Ruiz’s desire to create classic products that have a contemporary relevance, the plastic shell chair was the perfect starting point from which to work. The result is a versatile chair that feels contemporary while also feeling strangely familiar.
The brief called for a flexible chair that felt timeless yet modern and could easily be at home in the office or actually in a home. It is a quintessentially modern-day chair that can be used for dining, home offices, training settings, outdoors or office breakouts. Ubiquitously versatile, the MR Chair bridges the gap between home and office.
Part of this need for versatility is a response to shifting workplace requirements. As Ruiz explains, “During the last eight years, there has been a revolution in the way of working. Workers were previously more specialised and now the most valued are those who are able to solve tasks in different places and who interact well with other workers. It has not been a trend but a natural way of adapting to the situation, a way for companies to survive and thrive. Flexible and warm working spaces are closer to home atmospheres and the challenge now is the lack of identity in many offices.”
An important feature of the MR Chair is its ability to be customised. All in all, there are 75 different variations, from the range of framing options to the cushioning and shell colour.
Not only has the design aesthetic been updated, the technology behind the materials brings the MR Chair into the 21st century and beyond. Again using the concepts of timelessness and longevity, the chair is made from a uniquely engineered mineral fibre filled plastic, which is stronger and longer lasting than normal plastics.
When discussing the development process of the filled plastic, Schiavello’s marketing and design director Anton Schiavello reveals, “The mixture took three years to develop, with a lot of trial and error and testing of materials to obtain the right amount of stability and flex in the seatback. Working with a laboratory allowed us to adjust the mineral levels and create an uncompromised mixture that achieved the strength and quality desired.”
The MR Chair is a more refined plastic shell chair, perfect for myriad environments, well into the future.
The MR Chair will be available from May 2017.