Mattiazzi SpA, Italy
In 1978 the Italian brothers Nevio and Fabbiano Mattiazzi began their obsession with wooden furniture production. For thirty years they produced furniture rather anonymously for some of the great Italian brands and only recently started to collaborate with world designers to expose their expertise to a wider audience. Over the years they have kept their expertise and quality sharp by continually investing in the latest machinery, and by maintaining a craftsman's attitude overall.
Unlike many other Italian producers, the Mattiazzi brothers knew to keep all the facets of wood production under one roof.
By default, they have now become a rare company that is able to shape wood as if it were plastic while embracing ever-increasing challenges as their own form of R&D.
After several trips to Mattiazzi's factory, along with close discussions with their craftsmen, Industrial Facility continues to push Mattiazzi further into their exploration of robot-craftsmanship.
Branca is the result of a combination of highly complex parts (made possible with robotic machinery, most notably the eight-axis CNC milling machine which Mattiazzi is expert with), alongside simple traditional shaping and finishing by hand.
"The power of the robot, the repetition of the machine and the skills of the craftsmen already have synchronised relationships at Mattiazzi where each process is as carefully selected as the wood blocks that are to be shaped", says Hecht.
It was in conversations with his partner Kim Colin, that the focus was turned to nature, where complexity thrives with reason. Beauty is simply a result of constant growth. In particular, the branches of a tree were to provide the critical analogy for the project.
Like wooden branches on a tree, Branca is a chair that is familiar to the eye. We accept that branches support the joints of twigs and leaves at different points that may seem random but are in fact intentional.
Branca's back leg supports the critical joints of its armrest, seat and back, and is made from a single piece of wood produced robotically. The joints are seen as but a part of the seamless nature of the chair and its simple outline belies the complexity of production.
With no question, Branca has to hold all of the functional attributes we expect a chair to have in a modern condition - to be comfortable; to have armrests; to fit under a table; to be light enough to carry; and to stack for easy shipping. Branca is inspired by wooden branches that turn, twist, meet and branch off.
Furniture Design of the Year, Design Museum, 2011
Habitare Award, Helsinki, 2011
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
V&A Museum, London
Finlandia Design Museum, Helsinki
Design Museum London
New Simplicity, London, 2010
Power of Making, V&A Museum, London, 2011
Beijing International Design Triennial, 2011
Turn, Twist and Branch Off, Aram Store, London, 2011
GREAT, Sakip Sabanci Museum, Istanbul 2014
Family Matters, Die Neue Sammlung, Munich, 2015
Branca, something of how they are made (Japanese)
Tronco is unlike our previous Mattiazzi designs that often have displayed a sculptural softness achieved by robotically removing material. Instead, its character is formed from solid planks of wood in what appears as very elementary construction, yet its simplicity is the result of iterative experimentation and a high regard for material honesty. It is made with the same extraordinary level of attention to detail that Mattiazzi is now known for. With Tronco, we are interested in the frisson between solid panel construction and the truly skilled craft of its making.
It has surprisingly natural comfort and works well in multiples, and not just alone. Its form is modest enough so that it takes on the appearance of ‘texture’ when shown in numbers. It lifts the atmosphere of interior spaces that
many chairs, whether it is a dining hall or a chapel and creates a terrain of its own in any architecture. It can stack 10-high on its own trolley and is connectable in long rows using a plastic connector. A range of coloured stains help to bring out the ash grain. The Tronco table is similarly made and chamfered at the edges so that it can join easily with others. With one or many, Tronco evokes solidity rather than frame.
Designforum Wien, Austria, 2016
Salone del Mobile, 2016
US: Herman Miller
Run is a collection of tables, benches, shelving, and accessories – inspired by the collective, congenial atmosphere around public furniture like canteen tables, park benches, and library shelves. These typologies have the ability to feel natural for one to use and for many to share. Its materiality is recycled aluminium and Amish produced Ash wood that satisfies a multitude of uses at home, for hospitality or in the workplace. They are pure utility – resilient in material and timeless in form. It is made from simple, uniform planks and is specified simply by length of material, either aluminium, ash or cedar wood. The furniture can be used indoors or out and is available in 2440, 1830, 1220 and 830mm lengths, with corresponding Benches. Shelves are available in lengths of 1830mm.
For the Table and Shelf, specially designed accessories (Platform, End and Bookend) help to delineate spatial and functional divisions along a plank, and the gap between planks is seen as a benefit for passing through electrical cables. Benches have the option of a felt pad for added comfort. Run Tables are also available in standing or seated heights, allowing for different activities like communal eating or meeting. The projects entirety acknowledges the benefits of being around others. Welcoming, useful, resilient, and simple.
ICFF Best Collection, 2016
Plex Lounge Seating
Plex is a modular soft-seating program that allows the ease of flexible grouping with a compact seat that’s designed for individual comfort. After extensive research and development, Plex is designed to support Office, Education and Healthcare settings. It is smaller than comparable soft-seats allowing greater planning density.
Plex consists of a series of units that each provide comfort and usefulness and can be combined with other units to make additional settings - a simple hook allows the flexibility to re-arrange settings, turning a communal gathering area into a lecture theater. It is engineered using Herman Miller’s extensive knowledge of ergonomics, anthropometrics and comfort, and uses super-seat technology in its webbing - a strectched rubber membrane that adjusts to whatever posture you may take.
The seats can stay static with its wooden or plastic feet, move freely around with its wheels, or swivel with its swivel-base. Extra privacy for spaces where concentration and privacy are required, can use the Plex Club Seat height adjustable headrest. Stitching details have been designed to accommodate almost any fabric. Plex also has power. Both USB and mains can be integrated during specification, or added at a later date. And a lightweight height-adjustable Side Table is part of the collection.
Metropolis Likes Award, 2016
HIP Award, 2016
TOG is an innovative furniture company that plans to build a community, combining industry with craftsmanship, technology and humanity. The company is the brainchild of Brazilian industrial group Grendene, with Philippe Starck as its Creative Director.
The foundation of TOG is to create a virtuous and unique sales system where the customer has the freedom to enjoy the distinguished design piece 'naked' - as proposed by the company and designer - or to apply their own personal mix of finishes and colors through a large platform of local craftsman. In the case of Tubo, we set out to create an advanced and economically viable recycled PET molding process, by working with the source of the raw material itself, that can then be freely customised.
The collection consists of chair with a variety of bases, along with working tables and mobile shelving. The chairs themselves are made from molded PET that is created from a raw blanket material formed from recycled platic bottles that would normally find their way into the waste stream. After a year of testing and analysis, a steel tool was developed that economically ‘polymerises’ and seals the PET into a semi-rigid shell. The shell is then supported by a spring steel exoskeleton that allows for comfort and movement.
Icon Award nomination 2014
Milan 2014 Best In Show, Metropolis Magazin