While the Frida chair has an extremely solid presence, if you carefully study the way it has been put together, you find its solidity is somewhat of a mystery. This is because the product consists of the clustering of two elements: a three-dimensional, thin curved plywood shell (realised using 3D veneered technology) applied onto a slim (3.5 mm), yet very solid, wood frame. 

Oak is used for both elements. Fioravanti needed to use two separated parts because he wanted to achieve a sinuous form that would welcome the body while at the same time focus on extreme lightness and slenderness.

The clustering of two different elements would normally bring about resistance issues and a certain degree of fragility to the overall result. However, due to the way the shell and frame sections are assembled, this is not the case.

The plywood shell is manufactured using aluminium moulds while the frame is made up of some 10 milled pieces assembled using numerically controlled machinery. The two segments are then glued together using a hydraulic press. As such, Frida has passed all solidity testing with excellent results.

This patented process ensures not only the required stability, but also allowed Fioravanti to design a light, curvaceous chair that looks very matter-of-fact and simple, yet is actually groundbreaking in its approach to industrial woodworking.

This inventive approach not only appealed to the Compasso d’Oro jury, but the young designer is now considered one of the most promising in Italy. “I believe that designers are getting progressively closer to craftsmanship as a consequence of continuous research into a deeper meaning for the profession,” he explains.

“Designers feel an increasing need to regain a proper relationship with materials, to go back to a more physical way of envisaging new products that has more to do with their hands than with screens.”

Fioravanti has taken the techniques of woodworking craftsmanship and translated it into an industrial process – marrying the best of both worlds. 

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