Spotlight on the five final designs by SPD students. Works selected by Gebruder Thonet Vienna to envision the thonet chair of the future. Which one is going to win and go into production?

The five projects, selected by Giulio Cappellini and Giovanni Del Vecchio, Gebruder Thonet Vienna CEO, are now on show at the school premise. An exhibition not to be missed, open until the 9th.

#1. Concept by Laura Affinito, Nicola Zappelli (Italy)br> An interlacement of very thin and apparently fragile elements – filiform bands of wood curved by steam – allow the object to support itself and others, even without a structural frame. The pattern of the weaving is a homage to the Viennese straw, imprinted in Thonet’s DNA. The quality of this project consists in the sinuous forms that stretch and create the seat and legs, in the rhythm of the interlacement, in the lightness and transparency of the material. A project that chooses paradox as its first interpretation: the contrast between the unstable aspect of the grid, so slight and open, and the strength of a structure that finds a strong ally in the elasticity of the wood.

#2. Concept by Estefanía Fernández (Spain), Alfredo Sandoval (Venezuela)
A successful chair thanks to the pureness and simple perfection of Spanish design. The object takes its origin from a single band of curved wood that faithfully interprets the character and formal qualities that are typical of Gebrüder Thonet Vienna. The chair is intended to be essential and absolutely contemporary. The design of the seat, created by crossing wood, goes beyond the first interpretation, hiding an unexpected comfort. The whole project aims at balancing aesthetic, functional and ergonomic qualities as well as innovation in the production process.

#3. Concept by Giorgia Paolini (Italy)
A sexy and ironic object with a strong impact, almost a sculpture. Giorgia Paolini’s idea becomes a soft and embracing chair that takes its shapes from fashion. The skirt is the typical female symbol. A transparent filling of flexible and light willow wood is sewn around the structural frame, again in wood, from which the seat takes its origin. Gebrüder Thonet Vienna has always communicated elegance and sensuality. This concept, with remarkable scenographic and symbolic qualities, responds to the contemporary demand of dealing with interiors – domestic and others – as scenography.

#4. Concept by Alessandro Pasotti, Francesca Imperiali (Italy)
On the contrary of what you might think, sitting is a dynamic action. For this reason, the project abandons the stereotype of a chair as a rigid structure developed on two almost orthogonal planes. The organic shapes of the seat are modelled in order to offer the chance to sit down in several ways but always in absolute comfort. The body is made of curved beech wood – pure Thonet – and is divided into three distinctive elements: seat, back and armrest, designed as modules that can be assembled. In this way, the single chair easily becomes suitable for waiting areas and any large spaces that can be combined to give life to unlimited architectures.

#5. Concept by Elisa Ceci Neva, Sara Mezzetta (Italy)
One self-bearing element creates a wide landscape of stools, benches and support surfaces: a system that easily moves from domestic spaces to public places. Curved wood has been chosen as the only construction material of the project and value is given to the structural characteristics through the study of forces expressed in the curvature and tension of fibres. The geometric design of the band maintains full volume still maintaining its typical lightness, while the surface exalts the graphic effects of the material. The strong points of the project are the geometry of total volume and the pattern, also found in the more complex combinations, that the consumer can chose and change, like in a game.