following its original conception for poltrona frau‘s centenary in 2012, satyendra pakhalé debuts his ‘assaya’ armchair to the market on the occasion of orgatec 2014. deriving its name from pakhalé’s native tongue marathi, ‘assaya’ means ‘to provide comfortable support’ or ‘create pleasant sensations’; while also implying the act of analyzing and evaluating.

satyendra pakhale assaya poltrona frau
satyendra pakhalé debuts assaya furniture for poltrona frau at orgatec
all images courtesy of poltrona frau



at the heart of the collaboration is the ‘assaya’ armchair, a generously sized seating design that has been measured to ensure an ergonomic and comfortable place to relax and work. from its profile, the backrest recalls the sinuosity of a corset, and curves to embrace the sitter naturally. together, with the armrests, it is composed of a single shell with rigid polyurethane that is additionally padded with polyurethane foam and wadding. the seat itself is a framework of seasoned beech wood with elastic belts and padding that is similar to the backrest. in its entirety, the ‘assaya’ armchair has the capacity to rotate at 360°, and automatically returns to its starting position. the accompanying pouf is constructed from the same materials as the chair. the design encapsulates a combination of leather, with rigid and soft elements, with the external hide modelled by a skillful series of cuts and stitches that give the material considerable ductility. the ‘assaya’ armchair and pouf are upholstered in pelle frau® leather from the italian company’s color system, or pelle frau® nest, soul or century leather.

satyendra pakhale assaya poltrona frau
‘assaya’ includes an armchair accompanied by a pouf, side table and lap tray



the dutch designer’s scheme also includes a lap tray and side table, which have collectively been developed to respond to our current lifestyle, in which we are living in an increasingly connected world where the lines between the domestic space and the workplace are becoming less defined. offering the flexibility to be arranged in various arrangements, the furniture range facilities both working and leisure activities, with the accompanying side table and lap tray accommodating books, portable computers and tablets.

sateyendra pakhale assaya poltrona frau orgatec designboom
the backrest of the armchair draws references to corsets, its sinuous curves embracing the sitter



anchored by an aluminium-colored painted steel plate, the side table stands on a single steel leg with a moulded profile, with its work surface rendered in birch plywood with a light polyurethane foam padding. the top surface and exterior of the support are finished in cuoio saddle extra frau® leather; with pelle frau® nest leather used for the lower and inside of the leg with contrast stitching.


the laptray is constructed from poplar plywood with a light polyurethane foam padding on its underside. the worktop comes in cuoio saddle extra frau® leather, while the susidiary area is covered in pelle frau® leather from the color system, or pelle frau® nest lather, also with contrast stitching.

sateyendra pakhale assaya poltrona frau orgatec designboom
a lap tray facilitates working activities



‘assaya’ by satyendra pakhalé brings forth a new direction of thinking, which proves that companies who have typically been associated with offering furnishings for the home, are beginning to realize that the boundaries between our private and professional lives are becoming blurred. the collaboration between pakhalé and poltrona frau establishes this renewed way of approaching furniture design and how it can serve us on different levels and for various functions. the resulting collection is ‘a synthesis between the contemporary and traditional; between the needs of an evolving society and poltrona frau’s craftsmanship(…)’.

sateyendra pakhale assaya poltrona frau orgatec designboom
concept sketch



the conceptual evolution of ‘assaya’
video courtesy of satyendra pakhalé associates