German industrial designer Grcic has collaborated with Finnish furniture company Artek to design the Rival chair, which reflects the history of Artek with a technical finesse that makes it a thoroughly modern piece of furniture. Artek, which was founded in 1935 by Alvar and Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen and Nils-Gustav Hahl, continues to build on the modernist heritage of Alvar Aalto with a functionality and timeless aesthetic.
In its construction, Rival reveals a mix of solid birch wood for the legs and laminated birch wood for the arms and backrest. The legs of the chair were milled from one solid piece of birch wood, which sees Grcic using a technique that has recently been used in a number of chairs, resulting in the wood taking on a fluid quality almost like molded plastic.
For me designing a chair works on a number of levels: there is the choice of materials, the home office typology that reflects a contemporary approach to life and what might be called the grammar of construction, the way in which a piece is put together, says Grcic.
The first incarnation of Rival is an armchair with a low and high back version, a seat in a choice of a three-dimensional textile or leather upholster, available in a range of colours.