In looking to expand its side seating offerings, Allseating tapped renowned designer Carl Gustav Magnusson to create a comfortable collection that would blend into contemporary office settings. The design, Lyss, was well-received during NeoCon, bringing in designers from Fortune 500 companies seeking new ways to transform their offices. “I think that there’s been a wonderful sort of morphing from cubicles to a much more open landscape,” Magnusson said. “The walls are finally coming down … [it] makes for much better team work. That’s where we are today.
“As a designer, you always love the introduction of your product,” he continued. “[Allseating] identified that they wanted to head toward side seating, either as pull-up chairs or for breakout areas and dining. When I looked at that, I naturally went back to my roots. I thought, ‘I want to have a product that’s as visually simple as possible, with lots of roundness.’”
With a career spanning back to his start in the Eames office, the result was Lyss, a thoughtfully constructed exercise with consideration for all aspects of the design, which Magnusson described as “a certain embrace between the different materials.”
For example, the standard use of aluminum was for aesthetic purposes rather than a purely cost-driven component. “Aluminum relates to warmth,” Magnusson noted. “It comes off as congenial, warm, and works very well, I think, with the rest of the shell architecture.”
This use of aluminum was inspired by Magnusson’s love of automobiles. “I’ve always been mad about that stuff. If you think about the details on Audis, for example, [there is] beautiful trim. If you take a real close look at it, it’s never chrome; it’s always extruded, or cast, or stamped aluminum, and it’s finished with a nearly acid-etched texture. After that, it’s anodized.” It’s this clean use of warm metal that ties into the luxurious look and feel of the Lyss chair, he added.
Additionally, Magnusson’s adoration of Dieter Rams and career with the Eames may have contributed to the inspiration. “It hadn’t occurred to me that there would be some sort of nexus, but surely [the inspiration is] an accumulation and conflux of various aspects of [my] history, from the time when I began sketching cars at the age of 12. But more so, when I began working with the Eames office, a new definition of what design could be really became my working textbook.”
For the full transcription of Magnusson’s interview, visit interiorsandsources.com (bit.ly/2uNM3fn).