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ArtekRIVAL KG001

Contemporary style upholstered birch chair

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Helsinki, Finland
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Contemporary style upholstered birch chair
Design Year

Konstantin Grcic’s Rival is designed with people working from home in mind. In its use of materials, Rival reflects its roots in the legacy of Artek, with a mix of solid birch for the legs and laminated birch for the arms and back, and in the circular geometry of the seat. But it also has a technical finesse, which transforms it into an entirely modern piece of furniture. The swivel function offers a psychological clue as to the purpose of the chair – a multifunctional task chair for contemporary living.
Grcic designed legs milled from one piece of solid birch. This technique has recently been used in a number of chairs, resulting in the wood taking on a fluid quality more like moulded plastic than timber. But Grcic has maintained a more conventional form that reflects the materiality of birch.
The birch of the back and the arms is displayed in a saw-cut lamella.
For Grcic, designing a chair works on a number of levels. There is the choice of materials, and it was clear that for the Rival, birch would play an important part. There is the home office typology, a reflection of a contemporary approach to life. And third is what might be called the grammar of construction, the way in which a piece is put together. The first incarnation of Rival is an armchair with a low (KG001) and a high (KG002) back version, a seat in a choice of a three-dimensional textile or leather upholstery, available in a range of colours.

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