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Sculpted Elegance: The LAYER x MDF Italia Collaboration

Sculpted Elegance: The LAYER x MDF Italia Collaboration

Benjamin Hubert, hailing from LAYER, an agency specializing in experience design, has skillfully created PRESS for MDF Italia, a renowned Italian furniture company. These chair shells, expertly crafted from a 3D timber veneer, possess a remarkable lightweight quality, enabling the incorporation of intricate designs.

Sculpted Elegance: The LAYER x MDF Italia Collaboration

These forms mimic the body’s shape, providing a comfortable sitting experience. The development of the chair took 2 years, during which the studio produced various scale models and used 3D CAD to visualize the seat’s complex curvature. This collaboration marks LAYER’s first project with MDF Italia. The PRESS collection was revealed in April 2024 at the Salone del Mobile in Milan.

Sculpted Elegance: The LAYER x MDF Italia Collaboration

The name PRESS comes from the unique production process that prevents the 3D-Veneer from cracking. An aluminium mould is used to press the timber material into the organic 3D seat form, emphasizing both visual and physical comfort. The wood’s structure and veneer’s texture are highlighted, with the natural timber grain enhancing the chair’s curved shape. The compound curvature adds strength to the chair shell while keeping it lightweight.

Sculpted Elegance: The LAYER x MDF Italia Collaboration

The dynamic lines of PRESS are balanced by its classic form, which ensures the chair has a timeless appeal. The intentionally smooth and seamless shell has not only been designed to stand the test of time, but to sit comfortably in a variety of different environments. This approach means that PRESS fits as easily around a conference table in a workplace setting as it does around a dining table in the home. The universal shell can be paired with a range of different leg types, including a stacking steel tube leg with the option of a die-cast aluminium armrest; laminated plywood legs; and a central stem steel base.

Sculpted Elegance: The LAYER x MDF Italia Collaboration

“When working with any material at LAYER we like to push its potential – and an innovative material such as 3D-Veneer creates so many opportunities to experiment. While it was essential that the form of the chair express the material qualities of 3D-Veneer, it was just as important that it have a timeless quality to ensure longevity,” Benjamin Hubert – Founder, LAYER.

Sculpted Elegance: The LAYER x MDF Italia Collaboration

The design of the PRESS chair not only demonstrates the 3D-Veneer’s capabilities but also enhances user comfort. The chair’s pillowed seat forms envelop the body for added support, while a graceful waterfall edge eases pressure on the thighs and back.

Image courtesy of Layer Design