Vitra lounge chair by Hella Jongerius

Dutch designer Hella Jongerius introduced the latest product from her ongoing relationship with design giant Vitra in Milan last week – a chair that comes with a handle and optional wheels for easy relocation.

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Convinced that heavy furnishings are counterproductive in a busy environment, and drawing on a previous collaboration with Vitra for the UN’s North Delegates’ Lounge in 2009, Jongerius presents the lightweight East River Chair.

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“In a lounge, which is primarily used as a neutral space for spontaneous meetings, the furnishings play an important role in creating a lively setting,” said Jongerius, who is also art director of colours and surfaces for Vitra.

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The solidly constructed but lightweight chair has a handle on the back for easy relocation, making it flexible for use in public spaces, and it comes in a variety of colour combinations.

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The colours and materials have been carefully chosen – leather protects the armrests from dirt and wear, and the thicker padding of the seat cushion and backrest provide lumbar support. Two polyamide fabrics from Vitra’s existing collection have been used, as well as a polyamide mix.

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A lighter coloured fabric frames a darker tone on the seat and backrest, and depending on the colour combinations selected, the chair has a very different look, ranging from muted to bright and cheerful.

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The chair’s distinctive form and combination of materials are testament to Jongerius’ typical fusion of craft and industry, high tech and low tech, and traditional and modern.

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