Posted 6 years ago
This is one of our four UNIVERSALE chairs living at the kitchen. On pic2 you can see one in our terrace... as it's pretty hard to take a decent pic on our kitchen... On pic3, there's one of these collages I love to make displaying some of the designer's work. Amazing, isn't it?
The 'Universale' was the first all-plastic chair to be made by the injection-moulding technique. It was also one of the earliest plastic chairs to be commercially available. The Italian manufacturer, Kartell, was an innovative firm whose main production was plastic laboratory and industrial wares. They marketed the 'Universale' as a multi-functional chair that was stackable, portable, and suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The design included detachable feet, which allowed the height of the chair to be adjusted. The structure was based on a child's chair, which Marco Zanuso and Richard Sapper had designed earlier for Kartell.
The 'Universale' is typical of Pop design, which used bold pattern, bright colour and new shapes and was specifically aimed at a young market. Plastic, previously seen as 'cheap and cheerful', became a fashionable and novel material.
The idea of creating a chair out of a single material which is adjustable in three heights makes the
‘universale’ quite a unique design. By replacing the stackable legs of different sizes it is possible to either have a barstool, a dining chair or a low version. The chair can be used for row seating and it can be stacked in piles. The hole in the back is made for pulling it out of the tool and functions as a handle.
Colombo’s seek for functionality determines the form and the material of the product.
Since it was produced completely by machine a new way of mass production was started with it. Colombo developed it within two years and thanks to the innovative ideasof the Italian company Kartell he realized the first injection-molded plastic chair.