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The “La Marie” chair: an ode to transparency

30/01/18

The “La Marie” chair: an ode to transparency

Created in 1999 by Philippe Starck, under the name “La Marie”, and produced by Kartell, it was the world’s first entirely transparent chair, made in polycarbonate from a single mould. Its creator decided accentuate the material rather than the shape.

Thanks to its transparency, it has a tendency to go unseen, making the designer’s hand as invisible as the created object, the purpose being to free the environment from useless clutter!

An ingenious combination of lightness and solidity, resulting from thorough and meticulous research into the material used, in this case shock-resistant polycarbonate. The process also involved seeking a way to reduce costs in order to make it the cheapest of the chairs produced to date.

Philippe Starck, the king of design, created “La Marie” under the guiding principle of making design accessible to the general public and it became one of his most famous works. For Kartell, the Italian company founded in 1949 by Giulio Castelli, a chemical engineer who started off producing plastic objects and furniture, it was one of the most prestigious examples of ‘Made in Italy’ design.

Stackable, robust, and comfortable, the “La Marie” chair is available in a crystal version and in four different bright colours: purple, light yellow, light orange and pink-orange.
The material used makes the chair suitable for indoor and outdoor use, and it will not lose its colour from exposure to UV rays.

“La Marie” would become the first of a long line of successful polycarbonate products produced by Kartell. Together, the designer and the company would go on to create a line of best sellers that changed the very understanding of design, by imposing a series of innovations that were copied by many companies, in particular that of transparency applied to plastics.

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