THE AIR APPARENT:
TON'S NEW CHIPS LOUNGE CHAIR
BRAND STORY BY SIMON KEANE-COWELL
This January's must-see Das Haus installation at imm cologne, authored by young Czech designer Lucie Koldova, sees the launch of her new Chips lounge chair for TON, where space and light meeting supreme seating.
Baby got back: young Czech design talent Lucie Koldova's new Chips lounge chair for TON features an outsized, expressive backrest that is an exercise in steam-bending virtuosity
It’s all back to front.
When young Czech design talent Lucie Koldova was invited – as imm cologne 2018 guest of honour – to author the fair’s much-coveted Das Haus installation, she turned to bentwood-furniture specialists TON to help her develop an ambitious new lounge chair. Taking the manufacturer’s signature form – the elegant, instantly recognisable curved silhouette of a bentwood classic – she ran with it. Or, rather, did an entire lap.
For the latest addition to the Czech-based brand’s collection, called Chips, makes the humble backrest the guest of honour at the party. Placed front and centre-stage, as it were, it takes the form of an emphatically expressed, outsized ovoid, its continuous, 360-degree curve lending the chair both its visual drama and a compelling architecture.
A highly sculptural articulation, Chips was conceived of as a stand-alone object that invites viewing from all angles, as much about the space around it as it is about its own self
“A solitary piece with a distinctive characterand story” is how Koldova describes the design, which joins the ranks of TON’s characterful family of hand-crafted, materially authentic wood furniture, authored by the likes of Arik Levy and Alexander Gufler. And she’s right. This is certainly no wallflower of a chair. It invites attention – and seduces the user optically, promising riches of comfort. Take a seat, it says. You know you want to.
“Sexy” is just one adjective Koldova uses when talking about the piece. And sex sells – hopefully for TON. But Chips – named after the backrest’s similarity in form to that of potato chip – is no bimbo. It has the looks and the brains. For Koldova has managed to make its clever construction, its engineering, as intriguing as its strong graphic presence. The back element, while a piece of bold, rhetorical performance, also functions on a utilitarian level, serving as as integral part of the chair’s base. The transparency of the perforated fabric stretched across the back, meanwhile, contrasts with the piece’s solid seat, which is made of moulded plywood.
Koldova's hands-on collaboration with TON – harnessing the wood-bending expertise it's renowned for – was a dynamic process, with the designer learning much about the properties and performance of materials
The result is a highly sculptural articulation, a stand-alone object that invites viewing from all angles. It’s as much about the space around it as it is about its own self. A solitary piece (as Kodova says), which resulted ironically from a up-close collaboration with TON, harnessing the company’s proud DNA – the wood-bending craftsmanship and technology that's filled its Bystřice pod Hostýnem factories since the mid-19th century.
“It was a rather dynamic process,” explains the designer, “testing the chair, making improvements. This is a company with a long-standing tradition, and I was extremely attracted to the technology of wood-bending. Working with fabric was also quite new for me and so I needed to research some of the upholstery techniques to truly understand the textures and possibilities in the production.”
Moreover, Kodova, who has established her industry profile over the past few years primarily via collaborations with lighting manufacturers, sees a direct continuity between her celebrated body of lighting designs and her new partnership with TON. “I like playing with translucencies, which, in my work, I often express in glass. With Chips, I play with light passing through the large backrest and its perforated fabric infill. Combining a semi-transparent material with the three-dimensionally bent wooden frame, the chair permeates space while space permeates the chair.”
Lucie Koldova: "With Chips, I play with light passing through the large backrest. Combining a semi-transparent material with the three-dimensionally bent wooden frame, the chair permeates space while space permeates the chair”
Kodova has gone as far as using light to create a total environment at this January’s edition of Das Haus – the series of future-gazing, speculative spaces at imm cologne, each year created by a respected architect or designer and always a fair must-see. Here, differing forms and intensities of light will work architecturally to shape space itself, with a number of carefully selected furniture pieces completing the rooms.
What better stage then to premiere the new TON lounge chair, given its architectural intelligence and optical intrigue? Your healthy-eating resolution for the new year might be in place, but this January it’s got to be Chips.
You'll find TON at imm cologne 2018 in Hall 2.2, Stand J020
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See more : https://www.architonic.com/…/simon-keane-cowell-the…/7001799