Break Out of a Shell Chair Rut with Muuto's Wood Eco-Fiber Version

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By Kelsey Keith / Published by Dwell
Talking to designers Iskos—Berlin about their revolutionary eco-friendly composite used for Muuto's new Eames-inspired Fiber Chair.

Muuto's new Fiber Chair may elicit a double-take upon first glance: its composite seat is molded with round edges, and it's perched atop economical wire legs, or a cross base. It's categorically Eamesian. Look closer, however, and you'll notice a more squared-off volume with a deeper bucket seat and softer edges. But keep in mind that the overwhelmingly popular shell chair designed by Charles and Ray Eames is as much about its materials and the industrial process used to make it as it is about the silhouette. Iskos—Berlin, a design duo based in Muuto's hometown of Copenhagen, took cues from the iconic design in creating an adaptable chair with updated, eco-friendly materials. After four years of experimentation, and following a detailed brief from Muuto's founders, Boris Berlin and Aleksej Iskos arrived at their ideal wood-and-plastic composite that incorporates 25% wood fibers, 70% PP (polyproplene) and 5% coloured polyproplene. 

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Boris Berlin, one half of Iskos—Berlin, explains that, true to Muuto's focus on Nordic design, their Fiber chair is made entirely in Scandinavia, with an eco-composite shell made in Denmark, and chair legs made Sweden (save for the wooden base, which comes from Danish wood).

The Fiber Chair, which is completely recyclable, is currently available in seven colors with four base options. Speaking to the variegation in the composite's surface, Berlin says, "We demand a certain level of uniformity—though if you ask me I’d accept much less uniformity than that. But customers demand that even wooden chairs have the same pattern. But [variation] is beautiful, right? It’s like our face: Marks and freckles make us beautiful."

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Designer Boris Berlin with his Fiber Chairs at Muuto's showroom in central Copenhagen.

Of the Iskos-Berlin design, which carries on a strong modern tradition influenced by the Eames shell chair, Berlin says, “One of the most difficult and noble disciplines is to design without eccentricity." The chair's supernormal silhouette translates to different uses with four different bases (powder coated steel, sled, swivel, and wood), while the seat portion is 100% recyclable thanks to its eco-friendly composite mix using 25% wood fibers, 70% PP (polyproplene) and 5% coloured polyproplene.

Click through to see the Fiber Chairs in action, and read more about Muuto in the Dwell archive.

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Muuto's Fiber Chair, as shown in cognac silk leather with black tube base.

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Muuto's Fiber Chair in nature composite with swivel base.

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Muuto's Fiber Chair in black silk leather upholstery over black composite with sled base.

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Muuto's Fiber Chair in gray composite with gray sled base.

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Muuto's Fiber Chair with composite seat upholstered in Remix 183 black fabric with swivel base.

For more cutting-edge Scandinavian design from Muuto, comb through the Dwell archive.