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‘The world’s most popular chair’ gets a sustainable overhaul by Konstantin Grcic

‘The world’s most popular chair’ gets a sustainable overhaul by Konstantin Grcic

Industrial Design
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Italian design house Magis has recently launched the ‘Bell’ chair. Lightweight, affordable and stackable, this new iteration of the popular monobloc chair is designed to be stronger than ever before and is manufactured using industrial waste. The versatile chair comes in three colours: Sunrise, High Noon and Midnight.

News highlights

  • Design brand Magis in collaboration with Konstantin Grcic has released the ‘Bell’ chair, a new iteration of the popular monobloc chair.
  • ‘Bell’ is made from industrial waste sourced from Magis’ own factories and from the local car industry.
  • The chair is available in three colours: Sunrise (orange), High Noon (white) and Midnight (charcoal).
  • Magis has developed a custom pallet for the product to increase efficiency during freight. The pallet doubles as a retail display device.

Conceived by long-time Magis collaborator Konstantin Grcic, the ‘Bell’ chair was always guided by a set retail price. “This figure conditioned everything: from the technology and type of material we used, right down to the exact amount/weight of material per chair, its cycle time in production, logistical footprint etcetera,” says Konstantin.

Designer Konstantin Grcic stands beside a stack of ‘Bell’ chairs atop the custom pallet.

Driven by the need to meet the capped retail price-point, several prototypes of the chair were designed and created. After a painstaking testing process, recycled polypropylene was eventually chosen as the material for the chair – an innovative product which is obtained from the waste generated in-house by Magis’ own furniture production and from the local car industry.

Konstantin explains that this material discovery and its specification for the chair was a major turning point for the project. “The big breakthrough came with the commitment from our supplier to provide us with a high-quality recycled material,” he says.

Magis adds that the patented material “excludes almost all virgin and new materials and can be 100% recycled again” after its lifespan. In this way, the ‘Bell’ chair forms an almost closed material cycle.

The multi-use plastic chair weighs only 2.7 kilograms (at least 1.5 kilograms lighter than average plastic chairs) and is a poster child of the move towards using less material and less energy during furniture production.

The key to achieving these reductions lies in the ingenious shape of the chair’s shell: “its bulbous geometry is not only structurally strong, it also makes the chair extraordinarily comfortable and visually appealing”.

Says Magis: The ‘Bell’ chair is made in the most responsible way available – its production methods avoid wasteful energy consumption and the time required to manufacture a chair is kept to its minimum.

Our aim was to develop a high-quality chair with the bare minimum of material.

Konstantin Grcic

But the thoughtfulness of the design doesn’t end with the chair itself. To avoid looping additional resources into the production cycle, Magis has developed a logistics and display plan to partner with the product. This plan involves a specially-designed reusable delivery pallet, made from the same recycled plastic as the chair, which can facilitate the stacking of up to 24 units.

As a result, less packaging material is used for the chair during transportation while the vertical stacking technique also reduces the products freight footprint during transportation. To assist Magis’ retail partners, the travel pallet doubles as an in-store display device.

As is the case with all monobloc chairs – arguably the most common type of chair in the world – the ‘Bell’ chair is designed with versatility in mind and can be employed indoors, outdoors, for commercial use, events, and in multiple other settings. “It is meant to be used in creative, unconventional and innovative ways,” says Magis.

The Magis ‘Bell’ chair is available in Australia from dedece.

magisdesign.com; dedece.com

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