PETAL | Chair with armrests By BassamFellows
Steel and wood chair with armrests
Wood veneer, Walnut, Oak, Steel and Wood
The Petal Chair is a chair with a 3D molded wood veneer shell and a tubular steel powder coated base. Materials: Shell in 3D White Oak or Walnut veneer.
The BassamFellows Petal chair is the most advanced 3D molded wood veneer chair ever put into commercial production. It takes some of its inspiration from Saarinen’s Tulip chair, and also offers a dialogue with the history of the Eames experiments. The Petal chair is state of the art and environmentally friendly, but the industrial nature of the process behind it, and its economic use of materials, makes for a democratic price point. It sits neatly alongside other bent plywood chairs in terms of function and aesthetic, but has a notably more expressive form. The super-shaped wood mimics the unfolding of flower petals, creating a comfortable ergonomic form. The back is wider at its top to provide support, while rolled waterfalls of shaped wood soften the edges. Nature frequently offers the perfect mood board for comfort in design. Petal’s appeal is accentuated by the visual grain of the wood, which resembles the fine detail on a flower – the lines emanating outwards in the direction of a bloom.
It’s fitting that the Petal shell is pressed at Davidson Plyforms in Grand Rapids, MI in the USA –the same company that has been pressing the Eames’ molded plywood chairs for decades. It draws a line back to the 1940s, but also represents a significant development for 21st century design. 20 years ago, CNC carving was in its infancy. The ergonomic and organic BassamFellows Tractor stool – which debuted in Milan in 2003 – was only made possible through use of that technology. Today, it is standard. The Petal is similarly ergonomic and organic-looking, but pushes the boundaries of what’s possible with molding: despite advances in 3D tech, the curvature of the rump of the shell, the waterfall edges and the shape of the arms are all extraordinarily difficult to achieve. But as the Eames’ experiments in the 1940s, technology exists to be developed more than it does to curb ambition. It is constantly being shaped.