Design by Louise Campbell
Constructive logic, choice of materials, and simplicity of form are the three inspiring principles in “Danish design”. Add the whim and creativity of the English art world and you have the basic concept for Veryround, the new armchair designed by Louise Campbell (English father, Danish mother) for Zanotta. Scandinavian rationality and a penchant for soft, organic forms give the designer’s work an unusual and intriguing profile. “These three principles were slightly altered in Veryround: although construction is sturdy and simple, an unexpected element of play was added. The choice of the material was grounded in the same criteria, but the plating was drilled so intensively that the material no longer appears the same, and looks more like paper than steel”. Zanotta Technical Office Designer and Manager Daniele Greppi adds: “When I first saw the Veryround models, I thought that it wouldn’t be very easy to produce an article that was both so simple and complex at the same time, but the challenge was exciting: strict geometrical forms with extremely free decoration”. The description of the work phases consisted in repeated research, trial and error, set up, and discovery: “We first thought of using a pressing die like the ones used for auto bodies before finally opting for the shear spinning process usually used to make pots and pans. The double roundness of the plating composing the body demanded research into both the type of cutting to be used for the metal plate and the jointing of the parts, not to mention the fretted embellishment. The ideal solution required three-dimensional laser cutting, but special software was required to achieve the desired effect on the structure’s two cones. This led to another phase of research that brought us to the cutting of the plates, roller levelling with cone-shaped rollers, the welding of the parts, and laser fretwork”. What initially appeared as a simple shape or a three-dimensional origami finally proved to be – as does everything that regards the perfection of the circle – very complex. “Simplicity in form?” adds Campbell ironically, “Of course the armchair consists of multiple circles linked with apparent clarity, but there were so many of them that they overrode the characteristics of the armchair itself, such as the legs, for example…”. The result resembles an origami folded paper chair, an element as balanced as a lightweight geometrical solid embroidered as if it were neo- Romantic lace. “I allowed myself to adopt a very feminine approach to this design, basing my decisions on my feelings and love for beauty. My Danish background gives me a marked sense of rationality, however. Veryround is an example of this respectful provocation”. The designer adds “My dream is to design pieces with unchanged value in time. This is why I push things to the limits of the technically possible, trusting only in my instinct. A way to work that is now considered to be attractive and fashionable. I think it’s important for a designer to take risks sometimes. I don’t think anyone has seen anything as creative, playful or competently designed since the ‘70s!”.