Take outdoor seating, for instance. “Not all so-called outdoor seats can actually be
exposed to the sun and the rain,” say designers Paolo Lucidi and Luca Pevere of design studio LucidiPevere.

“There are some very beautiful pieces already out there, yet they tend to be okay just for a covered terrace and hardly water-resistant and UV-proof. If you want something truly sturdy, the choice (in terms of colours, finishes and shapes) tends to be much more restrictive.”

This is often because if you want a really comfy outdoor seater or bed, you need to have an upholstered element in the structure of the piece. And making this weather-proof is trickier than it seems.

LucidiPevere worked with Italian brand Living Divani to find a way out of this impasse. The result was their new outdoor armchair called Poncho – it was inspired by looking at the covers of lorries on the motorway, and born from the dream of providing comfort and stability through a non-upholstered structure. “Well, the upholstery is there”, says LucidiPevere, “but you can remove it”.

Poncho’s really innovative element is its structure. “It is in zinced or varnished metal bull-bars and it is covered by a self-supporting piece of PVC fabric, which is kept in tension thanks to some Kevlar snares. Lots of work and care went into making both the snares and the textile extremely ‘solid’, and with this we mean capable to hold its position, like an actual skin. By doing so, Poncho basically can do away with using upholstered elements in the structure: the supporting pillows are just added on, for extra comfort but can be easily removed,” explain the designers.

It was not easy to get to the perfect comfort without using any padded elements. “The most difficult thing was to find the right compromise between the elasticity of the fabric, the desired shape and its static power. The issue to solve was that of the deformations and the defaults that are normally created when the fabric gets into tension. We had to test many materials before finding the right one.”

The advantages for the users are clear. “Poncho is thus extremely light and easy to move around,” explains LucidiPevere. “And it is solid, durable and functional.”   


 

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