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TON Presents the Chips Lounge Chair Designed by Lucie KoldováTuesday 5 June 2018
TON Presents the Chips Lounge Chair Designed by Lucie Koldová ♦ The Czech Company TON has been producing bent furniture using the same technological procedures in Bystřice pod Hostýnem since 1861, when their manufacture was started by Michael Thonet. Now, centuries after that, the luxury brand presented, in New York, the Chips lounge chair made from hand-bent wood and designed by the Czech designer Lucie Koldová.
The designer described the key features of the new lounge chair as a “visually light yet intentionally oversized backrest made from a perforated fabric and framed by hand-bent wood. I like working with translucent materials.”
Lucie Koldová‘s signature style, best known for her work with lighting, enables the chair and the space around it to permeate one another in perfect harmony. “I wanted the lounge chair to be defined by soft curves, to be comfortable and inviting at first glance – a stand-alone piece with a distinctive character and story. And in contrast to a conventional chair, I wanted it to feel a little sexy,” added the designer.
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The commanding yet airy backrest, shaped like a potato chip, also serves as part of the chair base. It stands in strong contrast to the roomy seat with pocket springs, the comfort of which is enhanced by a removable back pillow and an ottoman.
“At first I thought that the most challenging part of the design would be the backrest. In the end we paid more attention to the strength of the chair base, to ensure that the bottom of the backrest would withstand the forces applied to it”, revealed the designer.
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The Chips lounge chair was originally designed as part of the Das Haus project for the January 2018 IMM Cologne trade fair. TON liked it so much that the company decided to refine the prototype’s functional and ergonomic aspects and debut it as part of its regular portfolio at Salone del Mobile.
Next to its imposing yet sensual form, the new lounge chair is interesting for the way it is made – with the technique of bending wood by hand.
The technique of bending wood by hand, used by TON for over than a century, begins with steaming beech or ash wood in special steam baths, where it stays for several hours depending on size. Afterwards the wood is placed into a metal mould and secured with a flange. This helps to absorb pressure and allows the wood to take on its new form.
“When you observe the fascinating process it looks quite easy, but it is far from it. A bender needs years of experience, strength and a feel for the material. Even an experienced bender can take up to six months to learn how to bend a new design”, explained Jan Juza, TON’s Marketing Director.
The rest of the production process is also housed under TON’s roof. “We begin with cut wood and finish with a packed chair ready for shipping. Each product involves at least 23 pairs of hands, and even more with the more complex designs,” added Juza.
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