Armada by Doshi Levien 27.05.16

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The designers’ latest set of chairs for Moroso aims to envelop, but not shield

Doshi Levien has been busy of late, presenting with no less than five manufacturers in Milan during the Salone in April. One of their most anticipated launches, shown for the first time in the UK during Clerkenwell Design Week, was Armada, a collection of three club chairs for the Italian furniture-maker and the pair’s long-time collaborator Moroso.

‘We are really conscious of how a chair positions somebody within a space,’ Jonathan Levien says about the new design. ‘The shapes are generous, like billowing sails, a perfect association with the embracing nature of the chair.’ Perched on a single, rather robust, leg and available in three sizes – small, medium and highback – each iteration envelops the user just a little more, offering increasing levels of acoustic and visual privacy. ‘It doesn’t shut you off, though,’ Nipa Doshi stresses. ‘I think of it as a classic Moroso piece: beautifully upholstered, but quite understated in some ways.’

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A generous seat is perched on a single, robust leg

The Armada went through an accelerated design and prototyping process, partially thanks to 3D-modelling techniques and advances in CNC manufacturing: the first meeting with Patrizia Moroso was in October, and the first prototypes were made in late February, according to the designers. But they also pointed out that hand-modelling and craftsmanship is still a vital component of their work. ‘We presented the first paper models in December last year,’ Doshi says. ‘We try to keep with the spirit of the model – you can’t work with the materials themselves on a computer.’

‘Getting the concept right from the word “go” is really down to sketch-modelling and going through a lot of iterations before stepping up to the big scale,’ concludes Levien.

 

Words

Peter Smisek

 

Above: Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien work on the highback chair at Moroso

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I think of it as a classic Moroso piece: beautifully upholstered, but quite understated in some ways

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