I know Ray and Charles Eames don’t have a monopoly on contoured wood and plush leather, but when a chair does use those two as effectively as the Fly Armchair does, you can’t help but feel like a classic has been reborn.
A Gold Winner of the A’ Design Award, Pepe Lima’s armchair wasn’t born through material inspiration or exploration. It was the result of studies of deconstructivist compositions with the objective of creating a product with disconnected elements that paradoxically could result in a harmonious object. “The Fly armchair’s greatest differentials are its illusorily disconnected parts, which are presented as something exploded“, says Lima.
Designer: Pepe Lima
It’s a common assumption that a chair is a singular frame of wood, lined with cushions at strategic places to make seating comfortable. The Fly Armchair shatters that notion by, instead, opting for multiple disconnected pieces of wood that are magically connected by the cushions and armrests. The wood frame isn’t a singular cohesive unit, but is rather a fractured form that’s united by an unlikely hero – the ‘soft’ cushion. To an extent, that too was true with the Eames Lounge Chair’s design, although Lima made a more conscious effort to adopt that style here.
Contrary to one’s belief, the cushions aren’t as soft as you’d think. They conceal a wooden frame underneath it that helps hold the chair’s multiple pieces together. It’s almost as if the chair’s ‘actual’ frame is wearing a leather cloak, while the armrests, legs, base, and back panel are taking the credit for bringing the chair together. However, their ‘exploded’ design does have a gestalt of continuity. Your eyes fill in the gaps as your body sinks right into the chair’s comfortable design.
The Fly Armchair is a Gold Winner of the A’ Design Award for the year 2022.