Reviving Elegance in Design – The Porsche Pepita Edition by Vitra Blends Classic and Modern Mastery

The Porsche Pepita Edition by Vitra represents a masterful integration of automotive heritage and contemporary design, where each piece fulfills a functional role and also carries a legacy of innovation and timeless design as it finds a place in homes and offices. Vitra’s limited release of iconic chairs, such as the ‘Eames Plastic Side Chair,’ ‘ID Trim L,’ and ‘Petit Repos,’ show the synergy between traditional craftsmanship and modern aesthetics. This houndstooth pattern, a long-standing feature in Porsche interiors since 1965, symbolizes a tradition of exceptional craftsmanship and aesthetic finesse.

Designer: Porsche x Vitra Collab

First introduced in the interiors of Porsche vehicles in the 1960s, the Pepita fabric is a distinctive duotone checkered pattern that resembles abstract four-pointed shapes. It is often rendered in black and white, though it can be incorporated through a specific weaving process that interlaces two contrasting colors to create a visually striking and uniquely recognizable broken check pattern. Pepita fabric has become synonymous with high quality and sophisticated taste.

Initially featured as upholstery in the iconic Porsche 911 models, the rarity of Pepita fabric has increased as fewer manufacturers choose to undertake the labor-intensive production of true houndstooth weaves. This scarcity has made genuine Pepita a coveted element in both the automotive and interior design sectors. Vitra’s reintroduction of this fabric through limited edition pieces revives a classic style and maintains its exclusivity, making it highly treasured among collectors. The combination of its limited availability, storied heritage, and intricate aesthetics solidifies Pepita fabric’s status as a rare and distinctive feature across design and automotive history.

In the 1960s, the introduction of the iconic 911, launched in 1963, exemplified Porsche’s commitment to combining performance with sophisticated comfort. The interior design focused on functionality and luxury, resonating with discerning customers through the use of durable and tactile materials like leather and the stylish Pepita fabric for seat coverings. The clean and driver-oriented dashboard design emphasized ease of use and clear visibility of essential instruments, with the tachometer centrally positioned to align with Porsche’s performance-driven philosophy. Subdued color schemes of blacks, greys, and browns dominated, though brighter colors were also available, reflecting personal preferences and the vibrant styles of the 60s.

The unveiling at the ‘The Art of Dreams’ event in Milan highlights the seamless integration of innovation and design excellence between Vitra and Porsche. The collection prioritizes exclusivity, mirroring significant Porsche models and milestones, such as the ‘Eames Plastic Side Chair Pepita Edition’, limited to 1,963 pieces to commemorate the year Porsche introduced the Pepita option in its 911 model. These chairs are more than functional items; they are collector’s pieces that echo the narratives of their creators and pivotal moments in both design and automotive history, celebrating a rich heritage and the evolution of design.

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Sculptural chair design pays homage to a century-old wooden classic

Designs come and go, but some manage to become icons in their field. There are quite a few such designs in the larger furniture market, especially in the categories of tables and chairs. More than a century ago, a particular wooden design shattered expectations and became the precursor of mass-produced chairs for years, even decades, to come. It has since then inspired many product designers not only to follow in this chair’s footsteps but also to improve on it or even reimagine it with modern techniques and sensibilities. One such ode turns what was primarily a utilitarian design into an art object, exaggerating the structure and form that gave the No. 14 Chair its identity.

Designer: Jiri Krejcirik

Wooden chairs have, of course, been around for centuries, but most of them were often made with elaborate hand-carved designs that didn’t scale well for mass production. In 1859, the Thonet company revolutionized the furniture industry with the No. 14 Chair, or simply the Chair 14, which could indeed be put through a pipeline but still looked elegant in its simplicity. Its most characteristic design was the steam-bent wooden rods that formed the chair’s back, legs, and support.

More than 160 years after its birth, a new design breathes new life into that classic chair and dials it up to eleven. But rather than modernizing the original design, “Ode to Chair 14” reinterprets it from a different angle, one that puts form and aesthetics on a pedestal. While the original No. 14 adopted bent wood to give a mass-produced design more style and elegance, this particular rendition turns that design element into an art form, transforming the chair from a piece of furniture into an art object.

The Ode to Chair 14’s base is similar to the original, with a circular seat supported by four curved legs joined by a ring midway down their length. Where it differs, however, is the backrest, where what would have been a simple arching curve almost spirals out of control and loops repeatedly until it forms a row of intersecting rings. It gives the chair a character that is both eccentric and regal at the same time.

Despite its glossy blue hue, the chair is still made from bentwood beech wood just like the original design. In a way, it demonstrates how production processes have advanced to the point of making even such complex shapes possible. At the same time, however, it retains the same structural simplicity as the first Chair 14, a vision that paved the way for a new breed of chairs for decades to come.

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The Beluga Chair Is A Stylish Revolution in Sustainable Living by POLIMAIR

The Beluga Chair is a symbol of hope in the landfills flooding with plastics. It’s crafted from recycled fishing nets sourced in France, embodying POLIMAIR’s commitment to environmental responsibility. Designed by Arthur Gaudenz, this innovative chair represents a paradigm shift in furniture design, being the first chair in kit form crafted entirely from 100% recycled plastic.

Designer: POLIMAIR

At its core, the Beluga Chair embodies the ethos of sustainability and durability. Its mono-material construction utilizes discarded fishing nets sourced and recycled in France, eliminating the need for additional materials such as steel screws, glues, or wood. This not only reduces waste but also minimizes CO2 emissions, paving the way for a more eco-conscious future.

POLIMAIR’s visionary approach recognizes the evolving role of plastic—from a durable substitute for ivory in billiard balls to one of the most pressing ecological challenges of our era. In response, the design team advocates for a return to the essence of plastic as a material designed to last. The Beluga Chair stands by this philosophy, embodying four foundational pillars that prioritize sustainability in furniture production.

Central to POLIMAIR’s ethos is the commitment to local craftsmanship and environmental responsibility. From the design conception in Paris to the raw material sourcing from coastal regions such as Brittany, Normandy, Provence, and Occitania, every step of the production process integrates local expertise and promotes sustainable practices. The label “100% Made in France” not only ensures quality but also reinforces the company’s dedication to supporting local communities.

One of the most innovative features of the Beluga Chair is its 100% life guarantee, a testament to its durability and longevity. With the kit format, any damaged part can be easily replaced, ensuring that the chair remains functional for a lifetime. This commitment to product longevity aligns with the company’s mission to prevent its furniture from ending up in landfills. Furthermore, the option for customization allows users to tailor the design to their individual preferences, enhancing the personal connection between the product and its owner.

By embracing the aspects of DIY assembly and customization, it elevates the value of the Beluga Chair beyond mere functionality. It fosters a sense of ownership and creativity, empowering users to actively engage with the product and participate in its lifecycle. This not only enhances the user experience but also underscores the chair’s status as a sustainable lifestyle choice.

The Beluga Chair’s versatility extends beyond its environmental benefits, making it a suitable choice for various interior design aesthetics. Whether paired with a rustic farmhouse table or a sleek modern desk, its minimalist yet elegant design seamlessly integrates into any setting. Furthermore, its vibrant color options add a touch of personality to spaces like studies, libraries, or foyers, where it can serve as a statement piece. Whether opting for bold hues to accentuate contemporary décor or choosing more subdued tones for a classic ambiance, the chair offers endless possibilities for customization, allowing individuals to express their unique style while promoting sustainability.

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Sustainable office chair uses paper-like material made from wood by-products

Sustainable furniture and designs are thankfully becoming more common, but the “sustainable” label can actually be applied to different things. They can be made from recycled materials like metal or PCR plastics, or they can be made from new but biodegradable materials like wood, cork, and paper. While both kinds are good, they don’t always address the accumulating material waste that comes from the production of these objects, even the bits and pieces of wood that get left on the cutting room floor and then thrown out. Giving a new purpose to these by-products is another sustainable practice, one that is being applied to a beautifully minimalist office chair that’s made from dozens of sheets of paper.

Designer: Arper

Of course, it’s not literally made from paper, which would be too soft for a chair no matter how many sheets you stack, especially for a sleek and slender seat based on Arper’s iconic Catifa 53. Instead, it uses PaperShell from a Swedish startup of the same name, a material that almost poetically transforms paper, which comes from wood, back to a wood-like material that offers rigidity, stability, and, more importantly, beauty. In a nutshell, it uses both wood by-products like sawdust and chips as well as waste wood like fallen branches in forests to create a new paper-like material that can be used in place of wood, plastic, or fiber composites.

That’s the case with the Catifa Carta, which compresses dozens of these sheets into a composite that’s then bent and formed into an elegant chair with a gentle slope sitting on top of thin yet sturdy metal legs. Unlike its older sibling, this more sustainable version of the chair leaves the seat in its original, unpainted glory. That means you can see the natural imperfections of the PaperShell material, giving each chair a unique character. It’s pretty much the same as the highly prized grains in wood that give designs their natural charm.

What’s even more special about the chair is that even the end of its life has a story to tell. PaperShell can be recycled to produce new and different products, but it can also be turned into biochar to nourish the Earth. The material itself sequesters carbon dioxide which can be used to enrich soil. It’s a truly circular life cycle that starts and ends with the Earth. Appropriately, Arper has made the Catifa Carta easy to disassemble to make this process even easier.

Of course, the chair isn’t just a thing of beauty inside and out, it’s also a functional piece of furniture. Though some might have concerns about the ergonomics of using such a chair for long periods at work, it’s still a well-designed seat that makes you feel good not only about sitting on it but also about the exciting journey that this wood-like material has made since its birth from a seed.

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Stool has tree shadows printed on top to bring you closer to nature

Before I started focusing on writing for design, I never really paid attention to how mostly functional things like chairs are designed. As long as I could sit on it comfortably on it, then i believed it did its job and I didn’t really need to choose based on how well designed it is. But there are pieces of furniture out there, or even just as a concept, that were really thought of well by the designers to bring something not necessarily new, but at least interesting, to the table. Or in this case, the chair.

Designer: Shota Uruasaki

Capture the Light is one such design for a stool. The furniture itself is not a groundbreaking stool but is made up of the usual three blocks (seat, two legs) connected together by one small block. It looks just like your typical wooden stool/bench that you might see at a park or at a museum. But what makes this different is what you’ll see on the seat itself. You might think there’s a tree nearby casting its shadow but if you’re inside, then that may be a mystery.

It’s actually the unique design that this stool brings. The shadows casted by trees that you may see at parks or public spaces are immortalized on the seats as the designs are printed on them. The designer went around photographing the patterns that these tree shadows make, carrying a white board with them. The photographs were then inkjet printed on top of the stools and so you have the illusion of trees hovering on you as you sit on them.

It’s a simple design addition to your regular stool/bench but it’s interesting, if you’re into nature and trees. Even if the stool is inside, you get the illusion of still being surrounded by trees because of the shadows. Of course it’s still best to actually be around trees but in cases where you can’t then this stool may be the next best thing.

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Sustainable 3D printed chair needs no glue or screws to connect its pieces

Flat-packed products like tables and chairs have definitely changed the furniture design landscape and altered consumers’ tastes. But while these designs do make it easy to store, transport, and sometimes assemble pieces of furniture, they often also end up being bland in the name of minimalism, not to mention tedious and cumbersome to repair or dispose of, despite the supposed ease of assembly. Thanks to new manufacturing techniques and technologies, especially 3D printing, there are now alternative methods and designs possible, including a beautiful chair that’s not only made from sustainable materials but is trivial to assemble and disassemble because it doesn’t even use screws or adhesives.

Designer: Eva Dugintseva

3D printing has definitely come a long way from the flimsy plastic materials that they started out with. We can now print objects using a variety of materials, including metal, chocolate, and soon, even wood. It’s even possible to use recycled PS (polystyrene) plastic, which helps reduce the negative impact of mass-produced plastic chairs. That alone already makes the Som Chair concept notable, but that isn’t the only trick it knows, not by a long shot.

Thanks to 3D printing, it was possible to experiment with and use shapes that would normally be costly to pull off on a mass production line. In this case, the chair is made from two separate bent shapes with ridged surfaces that make them look like dozens of plastic tubes stuck to one another. The main structure of the chair has a small gap for the smaller piece to slide into, forming the three legs of the chair. Instead of using glue or screws, this simple mechanism, along with physics, give the chair its stability.

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This means that the Som Chair isn’t just easy to assemble, it’s also easy to take apart if you need to move it or even dispose of it. It might be possible to break down and recycle the plastic to make other objects, making it a little bit more sustainable, despite being made of plastic. You can also mix and match designs or replace only parts that are broken, giving the design more longevity as well.

Granted, this design won’t be as flat as a flat-packed chair, but you can package two of these together in a single box. Being 3D printed, there’s also more leeway in possible designs, giving this asymmetrical Memphis Milano chair more personality than your common minimalist yet plain flat-packed variety.

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Deflated balloon chair is an interesting piece of furniture

One of the most comfortable places that I like to lounge in when I’m just reading or scrolling through my mobile device is a bean bag. Sometimes however, because it’s too comfortable or too deflated, I tend to just sink into it without concern for my posture or my position. That’s not always a bad thing of course especially if I’m just relaxing. But sometimes I need to work on something or I should be more mindful of how I sit and the design of most bean bags aren’t conducive for that.

Designer: Andrea Casagrande

This design for a bean bag-like chair called Balloon seems to both be comfortable and ergonomic in a sense that it supports your body. The main concept for it is also pretty interesting as it resembles a deflated balloon. The seat being the main balloon part only deflated and the back part that supports your back, arms, and head representing the bottom part of the balloon including the stem and knot, but again, it’s deflated.

The fabric upholstery used in the chair also replicates the texture of a balloon but hopefully it’s not as slippery as most balloons. It is also lightweight enough that you can easily drag it to different parts of the room unlike with regular bean bags or even regular chairs that can sometimes be too heavy. It comes in different pastel colors as well including blue, pink, green, and orange. They want you to have the sense of “floating” but also it is capable of holding you upright if you need to be.

If no one’s sitting in the Balloon chair, it may look like a ghost that’s sitting on the floor so if you’re a scaredy cat and it’s dark, then it can give you a fright. But it’s an interesting shape for a chair and can be a conversational piece in your living space.

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Hand-carved cork furniture collection evokes the raw beauty of black volcanic stone

More often than not, furniture design is meant to feelings of warmth, comfort, or even joy, emotions that you’d want to experience inside a home, office, or even waiting area. After all, you will be using these pieces of furniture, including sitting on some of them, so it’s only natural to expect them to be more welcoming, at least visually. There are some more artistic designs that have provoking aesthetics, meant more to be seen rather than used. This furniture collection stands somewhere in the middle, projecting an image of dark and unpolished volcanic rocks that turn out to be comfortable, stable, and even charming in its own rough way.

Designer: ( ae ) offices

A volcano is full of ironies. It is both magnificent and terrifying, and its eruptions are equally destructive and mesmerizing. While the ash, lava, and rocks that volcanoes throw out inflict damage, they can also be used as materials to build and create things that have their own unique beauty despite their horrifying source. That’s the kind of juxtaposition that the DOL furniture delivers, providing a unique visual and tactile experience for every chair or table.

DOL takes its inspiration from the black volcanic stones found on Jeju Island in South Korea. These stones are being used as the foundations for different structures on the volcanic island, reusing what Mother Nature has thrown at them to build stronger architecture. The stones themselves have a raw and uneven appearance born of natural elements that give each piece a unique character. That’s the imagery that’s replicated in this low chair and low table, but using a material that’s the complete opposite of hardened volcanic rock.

The furniture uses the outer bark of the cork oak tree, a material that’s best known for being lightweight, impact-absorbing, and insulating. Each “stone” in this composition is crafted by hand, resulting in an equally unique look for each piece. Of course, cork isn’t the most rigid material for furniture, so it’s supplemented by wooden profiles that give it more structure. Layers of wood oil and waxes add the finishing touch that gives the cork a texture and character that will confuse the mind because of its dark roughness yet soft mass.

The use of cork also adds an element of sustainability, as cork bark undergoes a renewal process every nine years and is completely recyclable. It’s a fitting tribute to a stone that starts its life from the destructive explosion of a volcano before finding its way into people’s homes, buildings, and lives before returning to the earth once again to repeat the cycle.

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This Chair Allows Plants to Grow On it And Puts Nature Before Human Needs

Notice that cool abstract design on the chair? It’s not just some fabric, it’s real plants! 3 design students from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden changed the narrative of chairs for humans. Why do chairs always have to be used for us to come sit on them? We’re all taught that plants are living beings right? What if these living things could practically bring furniture to life? This chair is a unique piece of furniture that prioritizes plant life over human occupants by allowing them to grow on it.

Designers: Alice Hultqvist, Emelie Sjöberg and Linnea Nilsson

The Chia-Chair is different from regular chairs. Instead of cushions or upholstery, the chair has a seat and backrest that are composed of a knitted, knotted tube that doubles as a planting bed for chia seeds. The idea is to let the plants be the main users of the chair, and humans are just visitors. The designers emphasize that humans should approach it with respect, recognizing that it’s a living thing.

Hultqvist, Sjöberg, and Nilsson, all students in the MA Design program at HDK-Valand, the University of Gothenburg’s art and design academy, showcased their creations at the Making Transparency exhibition. This event, hosted in the student-focused Greenhouse section of the Stockholm Furniture Fair, explored posthumanist design principles.

The inspiration behind the Chia-Chair arose from the designers’ contemplation of humanity’s negative impact on the planet. They acknowledged that throughout the last century, humans have prioritized their needs at the expense of nature and wildlife, leading to severe consequences. The Chia-Chair, therefore, serves as a symbolic gesture, aiming to redress the balance by placing the plant at the forefront and demanding reciprocity from its human users.

yanko design images to size – Chia_chair_furntiure_05

Constructed with an ash wood frame and a wool sock filled with polyester stuffing as the cushion, the Chia-Chair offers a distinctive aesthetic. The chia seeds, mixed with water, were planted in the knitted structure, and the designers diligently watered them twice daily. To maintain optimal growing conditions, a plastic cover was placed over the chair overnight to retain moisture.

While the Chia-Chair may be more of a statement piece than a functional item, the designers foresee a future where greenery becomes integral to our living spaces. In an era of increasing urbanization that disconnects people from nature, incorporating natural elements into furniture and homes is seen as a natural progression.

The Chia-Chair serves as a thought-provoking exploration of the relationship between humans and nature. By prioritizing plant life over human comfort, the designers challenge us to reconsider our impact on the environment and encourage a more harmonious coexistence with the natural world.

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Futuristic-looking chair concept immerses you in a world of sound

People are now becoming more aware of how poor-quality audio can ruin an otherwise impressive movie or game, but we can only do so much when we’re trying to experience these activities at home. Headphones and earbuds try to use smart algorithms to recreate the effects of 360-degree surround sound, but that’s only an approximation at best. You can also deck your TV room with the latest in Hi-Fi audio equipment but also lose some privacy in the process. There’s almost no middle ground, at least if you think of conventional solutions. This odd spherical chair is one such unconventional solution that tries to offer the best of both worlds to plunge you into your own personal listening space.

Designer: Swift Creatives Studio

The problem with ordinary home speakers and earbuds is that they often just blast sound in a single direction, either from our front or our sides. The way we naturally hear, however, is to take in all the audio waves around us, Which is why surround sound systems put multiple speakers around the room to emulate that effect, but at the expense of everyone within hearing range knowing what you’re doing. It would be nice if you could just sit inside a bubble and have the 360-degree listening experience without sacrificing your privacy, which is exactly what the XEO POD is promising.

Looking like a hollow polygonal sphere with its front chopped off, the pod-like chair actually hides as many as 20 speaker cones underneath the textile surface that lines the interior of the futuristic-looking furniture. It’s like having a mini surround sound system, one that’s confined to your immediate personal space to prevent sound from leaking out and bothering others. There’s a retractable overhead camera that can track your head’s movement and adjust the delivery of the sound instantly, giving the illusion of being in the middle of the scene whichever way you look.

The XEO POD isn’t just made for listening, though; it’s also made to make that activity as comfortable as it can be. Despite the hard, spaceship-like exterior, the upholstered interior offers comfort and style, regardless of the way you sit. A few extras also take the experience to whole new levels, like a swivel arm mount for a 42-inch TV and a side table with a built-in cup holder and wireless charging.

As a chair, the XEO POD isn’t limited to just one position either. You can sit upright while playing games or recline comfortably when watching a film. The pod will support you and make you forget about your surroundings, fully immersing you in the audiovisual experience in front of your very eyes and ears.

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