He Said/She Said Chairs by Nitzan Cohen 16.12.09

MTZ P 29 High rt

To the left are three She Said chairs, to the right are three He Said chairs, and in the middle are three She Said stools (image: Hartmut Naegele)

"You probably missed this in Milan," says Nitzan Cohen. He is talking about the pared-down He Said/She Said chairs that he designed for Italian furniture manufacturer Mattiazzi, launched during the Milan furniture fair earlier this year. He's right. It can be easy to miss the newcomers as they are hidden away in obscure corners of the sprawling Fiera.

He Said/She Said is a collection of wooden chairs and bar stools in beech and ash. They come in two subtly different varieties. He Said has an armrest that protrudes into a stump at the front and is attached to the leg at a sharp angle, while She Said has a gentle, seamless curve bringing the armrest and leg together.

The chairs, which go on sale in November, are produced by an eight-axis CNC milling machine in Mattiazzi's factory in San Giovanni al Natisone, the heartland of Italy's solid-wood manufacturing. "Operating such a machine successfully is an art, and Mattiazzi disproves the myth that mechanised manufacturing is not a craft," says Cohen. The machine would usually be used to make complex shapes with plastic. Cohen instead used it to work with wood, but drew some inspiration from the classic injection-moulded plastic garden chair. "I have the advantage that I can use solid wood, which has a bigger flexibility than the plastic," says Cohen.

Mattiazzi has worked as a subcontractor for other furniture brands for three decades, but in the past year it has started manufacturing its own designs and this collaboration with Nitzan Cohen is its first. Cohen is currently working on an upholstered version of the He Said/She Said chairs, keeping the upholstery separate from the chair itself. "It is so easy to feel like the chair has somehow been molested by the fabric," says Cohen.

 

Words

Johanna Agerman

quotes story

He Said has an armrest that protrudes into a stump at the front and is attached to the leg at a sharp angle, while She Said has a gentle, seamless curve bringing the armrest and leg together

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