jean nouvel: (hotel sofitel) so so chair for emeco jean nouvel: (hotel sofitel) so so chair for emeco
sep 14, 2012

jean nouvel: (hotel sofitel) so so chair for emeco

‘so so chair’ for emeco by  jean nouvel

during paris design week designboom attended the preview of the ‘so-so collection’ by french designer jean nouvel for pennsylvania- based manufacturer emeco at nouvel’s studio. the range of seating designs made of 80% recycled aluminum, reclaiming post-industrial and post-consumer waste. the lightweight chairs and stools were first installed in the sofitel vienna, stephandom – for which he conceived the majority of the furniture as well as the building. all the pieces are handmade in the pennsylvanian factory using the same technique used to fabricate the famous navy chairs from 1944.

nouvel says of his design and working with emeco:

‘I just kept the same DNA and evolved it into a new light and comfortable chair. I just kept the same DNA and evolved it into a new light and comfortable chair…working with emeco is like being in a field of wheat. the crop is grown and my job was to simply harvest.’

the aesthetic of the pieces are often draw from nouvel’s philosophy of ‘nothingness’ – presenting a simple, lean contrast to the polychromatic illuminated video ceilings by pipilotti rist covering the decadent hotel sofitel vienna.

emeco’s CEO, Gregg Buchbinder, says of working with nouvel:

‘jean nouvel has really managed to take the back bone of emeco and leverage a new vocabulary.’

the name of the collection is informed by sofitel itself; however, nouvel provided further cheeky insight to the title in an invitation to the unveiling, saying:   ‘a chair is special because it has an intimate relationship with your body,’ the invitation read. but compared to my girlfriend, meme, this chair is so-so.’

front view

side view

back view

jean nouvel portrait © designboom

the chair iteration in nouvel’s studio image © designboom

a small model of the design image © designboom

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