Sunday, May 2, 2010

(KELLY) Philippe Starck: The Louis XX (20) Chair

Philippe Starck is a French product designer and probably the best known designer in the New Design style of the late 20th century. His designs range from spectacular interior designs to mass produced consumer goods such as toothbrushes, chairs, and even houses.

He is best known as the post-modernist prankster who made his name by designing notoriously unstable three-legged chairs, and a lobster-shaped lemon squeezer that sold in tens of thousands yet squirted lemon juice unerringly into the eyes of its users.

Starck, ironically named the chair Louis XX, poking fun at the French royal tradition of distinguishing kings of the same name by numbering them from IV to XVIII.

The Louis XX chair, with or without cast aluminium armrests and writing tablet was designed for use in cafés, restaurants, lecture rooms and homes. Its ecological consciousness is reflected in the use of recyclable materials, namely aluminium and polypropylene.

The springy back section and the curvy hollow front legs are manufactured from one piece of blown polypropylene the arm rests and back legs from over 99% pure aluminium. It is held together with a minimum number of screws and can be disassembled very quickly by unscrewing the back legs from the body, thus making it easy to recycle the two materials separately. The aluminium frame is joined to the body by a plate that enables the chair to be tilted on the back legs without causing damage.

The back legs are of natural polished aluminium, cast in a U-shaped form that is attached to the seat by an aluminium bracket and five screws. This chair can be used both inside and outside for domestic or public seating and is stackable.

The Louis 20 chair was the product of lengthy technical experiments by Starck and the engineers of Vitra, the Swiss office furniture manufacturer.


Design Museum
Design Matcher Gallery
Animation of Philippe Stark's Louis 20 chair

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