Elephant and Sharky chairs are inspired by animal morphology

At the first talk of the Design Convivium series, which will be held on 7 November 2019 at the ViaLarga3 showroom in Milan, Michael Geldmacher will recount the genesis of the two iconic chairs.

Two iconic chairs designed by Neuland studio for Kristalia take their name from the animal world, for the analogies of their structure with the bodies of the elephant and the shark. 

Designer Michael Geldmacher will talk about it at the first of the Design Convivium talks, which will take place on 7 November at 6.30 pm in the ViaLarga3 space, an incubator of excellence in the heart of Milan. The event, which will be moderated by Giulia Guzzini (Domus), will tell experiences, inspirations and visions of the projects.

"In one of the first drawings made for Elephan we noticed a resemblance to the dorsal spine of an elephant, hidden but recognisable under the surface. Hence the idea that the structure of the chair, made of thin steel tubes and covered with leather or fabric, was visible to represent the back of the pachyderm," says the German designer.

For Geldmacher the development of a project starts with analogic instruments.  "Of course we have a computer and work with 3D modelling programs, but the first attempts are always physical models, made of paper, clay or any other material. We try to find the final form by modeling it with our hands and matter and not on the computer because the results are completely different.

The chair is made of a very light shell, which is supported by the metal structure and can be covered with fabric with exposed seams. An important and particular detail of the Elephant is its external profile, which is continuous and forms a single loop. Anyone who sits on the furniture can immediately notice it by following the edge with their fingers.

The structure is available in various versions: with four legs or sled, in chrome-plated, satin-finish or painted metal rod, with legs in beech or European oak, or with a swivel base in die-cast aluminium. In addition to these versions, there is also a rocking chair with a wooden base.

"After the success of the Elephant Chair we started thinking about a seat without armrests to complete the collection. The point of union between the two products is the material used for the shell, polyurethane, which allows us to have elegant and thin shapes, with opaque finishes," he says.

This is how the Sharky Chair was born, whose name derives from the two fins on the back of the chair, joining base and structure. The legs can be made of solid wood, beech or oak, but are also available in powder-coated aluminium with visible welding - ideal for outdoor use. The chair is also available in a cushioned version in Kvadrat fabrics, which allow you to create different colour combinations with the exposed polyurethane shell.

Neuland (Eva Paster, Michael Geldmacher)
Elephant and Sharky
Series of talks:
Design Convivium
First talk:
Nicola Gallizia - 9 October 2019 h 18.30
Second talk:
Michael Geldmacher - 7 November 2019 h 6.30 pm
Third talk:
Ruadelpapavero - 28 November 2019 h 6.30 pm
Fourth talk:
Carlo Colombo - 12 December 2019 h 6.30 pm
Moderated by:
Giulia Guzzini, Domus
Media partner:
via Larga corner piazza S. Stefano 5, Milan
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