“Designing a chair for Ikea is certainly one of the most interesting and important challenges for a designer.” asserts designer Gio Tirotto. Ikea is known all over the world for its democratic design philosophy, as its objects must be accessible to the highest number of people: a fundamental principle.
For Tirotto, the Ensholm chair project is about politics as much as about design. Inded, down the line of Enzo Mari’s ‘autoprogettaione’ (literary translated as ‘self-design’) projecting for Ikea involves a social thought and aim, in Tirotto’s words. The relationship between the object and the user is vital for an Ikea object, that which develops in the moment of the assembly of a product. During assembly, users becomes aware about intelligences used during the design phase of the product, which increases their relationship with the given object.
Every piece that makes up the Ensholm chair is useful: every part is essential for its stability and usage. What makes it iconic is the designer’s search for substraction. Ensholm is a stackable outdoor and indoor chair taking the name from a small island in eastern Sweden. All the structure is made of painted steel, then the seat frame and backrest are entirely covered with a plastic mesh fabric, closed by a zip. The technical concept is explained in the relationship between the fabric and the seat/backrest frame, which make a tensile structure capable to support the user’s weight without deforming, but gently welcoming him, cushioning his weight and thrusts.
All components are completely disassembleable by material, completely recyclable, making the project respectful of the sustainability principles.
Gio Tirotto develops interior, product, and exhibition projects, rooting his art direction of the studio in research first. The studio was founded in 2010 and has served brands like Viabizzuno, Seletti, Wall&Deco, Secondome Gallery, Lago, Bormioli Rocco, Greggio, Exnovo, Zafferano, Modo, and Rudy Rabitti.