August 21, 2010

Patricia Urquiola chairs evoke tectonic plates

Written by Jennie Nunn, for the SF Chronicle, Sunday, July 25, 2010.

From afar, Patricia Urquiola's futuristic, L-shaped sofa multi-tiered armchairs could pass for well-engineered layers of fondant or Play-Doh. But, take a closer look, and you'll discover the Milan-based designer took cues from something much more grown-up for her latest Rift collection: geology.

Recalling the stacked, askew tectonic plates of the Great Rift Valley, the 11-piece series for Moroso also includes three Y-shaped islands, low barstools and an outdoor lounge that was just unveiled in Italy.

"The inspiration came from the geological phenomenon of places where the Earth's crust and the lithosphere is being pulled apart," says Urquiola of her sculptural pieces made of spongy polyurethane foam embedded in a steel frame. "I saw this when working on the project and liked the sliding effect on the backrest in relation to the base." The avant-garde furniture isn't entirely designed around science and theory. "I have an image of it in my mind, especially during a party," she adds. "When it's full of people sitting on it, forming a very interesting random human composition."

Available in orange, yellow, green, white, black and gray.

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