Massproductions presents “Serif”, an adaptable shell chair collection with a functional detail of solid wood which, like a serif on a letterform, finishes and defines the chair’s shape.
Massproductions’ design philosophy of slow, sustainable, and conscientious product development is embodied in Massproductions’ new product “Serif”. In the late 1990s, Chris Martin, head of design at Massproductions, conceived an idea which he felt could challenge the slightly restrictive typology that otherwise characterizes one of our most traditional furniture typologies – the shell chair. It was not until 20 years later that the idea was realized.
“There are many versions of the shell chair already, but for a new version to feel meaningful, it needs to improve or add something new. I saw the potential in combining layer glued wood with solid wood. That idea has been with me for 23 years, but it has taken different forms over the years. In the end, I felt like I had explored all possibilities, any further change would impair the shape or its function. That’s when I realized we were ready to start developing Seriffor production”, says Chris Martin.
Massproductions’ new chair has a seat of layered glued wood to which a solid wooden element, in oak or beech, is added to provide warmth and tactility. The detail also allows for functional handling, as shell chairs otherwise often slip out of the hand when lifted.
“Everyone just thinks of plywood when you see a shell chair, it’s a material that has fallen further down the hierarchy than solid wood, which has a richer feel. So why not add a detail of solid wood to the shell chair and even better, why not make it a functional detail”, says Chris Martin.
When the idea was to be put into production, Massproductions worked for three years with the development. Full-size 3D printed prototypes aided in developing a press tool that provided optimal comfort. The shape is based on the company’s popular and comfortable steel wire chair “Tio” and then further adjusted to fit the possibilities of layer glued wood.
The broad Serif series can be combined with eight different bases and into a beam system, several of the bases are stackable. The chair is also available with armrests, several different wood finishes as well as upholstered versions.