You could call it a matter of Fiber optics. With the Fiber Chair for Danish brand Muuto, Copenhagen-based design duo Iskos-Berlin was aiming for "design without eccentricity." Yet they also wanted their seating to have a strong identity, work in a number of settings and, most importantly, have a "clear sculptural language that refuses to compromise on comfort." The result was a reworking of the iconic molded shell chair—a classic with back, seat and armrests all in one. But their elemental difference was shaping their version in an environmentally friendly shell material, consisting of completely recyclable plastic and wood fiber. In this variation, a weight-distributing sled base helps reduce wear-and-tear on floors in high-use areas.
30" h x 20" w x 22.75" d (76.5x51x58cm)
Seat: 18" h x 16.5" w x 15.75" d (46x42x40cm)
Armrest: 26.75" h x 10.5" d (68x27cm)
Shell: wood/plastic composition with 25% wood fibers + 70% PP (polyproplen) + 5% coloured PP
Base: powder coated steel
Product also available with upholstery and in tube, swivel, and wood base options
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”We give the designers the freedom to create new designs,” says Muuto co-founder Peter Bonnén. Inspired by the Finnish word “muutos” that alludes to having a new perspective, the company aspires to update Scandinavian tradition for a new generation. By giving free reign to the brightest design talent in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark, there’s the breathing room to conjure a new take on a chair, vase or a lamp, Peter says. “The road to success for modern Scandinavian design lies in a strong belief in the best designers of our time.”
Peter and co-founder Kristian Byrge, who originally trained in economics and management respectively, might not have seemed destined to helm a new-influencer design firm. But their passion for all things design and and the distinctive style they dub “New Nordic” has brought global acclaim in just a few short years. “This gives the Muuto designs great diversity and character and further links them to the Nordic heritage—a heritage Muuto is proud of and that all the designers carry with them as part of their professional luggage”, says Kristian.
“One of the biggest challenges for a designer,” notes Boris Berlin of Iskos-Berlin, “is to create quiet objects that don’t intrude with their egocentricity, don’t compete with the surroundings or the architecture, but still carry a strong identity and are easy to recognize and remember.” With design partner Aleksej Iskos, the duo’s Copenhagen-based studio has gained international renown for its furniture, industrial and graphic design. Leningrad-born, Boris previously founded much-lauded Komplot Design, where Ukraine native Aleksej was employed as a longtime assistant. Collaborating with some of the world’s most prestigious manufacturers, Iskos-Berlin’s work has been featured in museums around the world and at both MoMA and the Danish Design Museum.
The partners say their aim is for a sharper and more precise take on design with an emphasis on delving into new technologies and materials. Likening their process to the art of storytelling, they admit that the narrative of a product may be complex but, in the end, the clearer the story is, the more likely people are to understand it. As to finding inspiration, Aleksej says it comes from everywhere. “From the beauty of nature in all its shapes, constructions and materials, to industrial processes,” he says. &