Saturday, March 5, 2011

Mr. Impossible chair | Philippe Starck with Eugeni Quitllet | Kartell, Italy | 2007

Philippe Starck Mr. Impossible chairPhilippe Starck with Eugeni Quitllet
Kartell, Italy, 2007

When Kartell released the La Marie chair (given product code 4850) by Philippe Starck in 1998, it was the first completely transparent chair made from a single polycarbonate mould.  Kartell has been a pioneer in research and development of the technical expertise necessary to execute designs out of polycarbonate, a material both more expensive than and more difficult to use in injection moulding.

La Marie chair

The La Marie chair.  Image source

Starck certainly drew from the Ero|S| chair as inspiration for the Mr. Impossible Chair (given product code 5940).  The seat was given its name on the first sketch.  Originally, the concept was to bind two separate polycarbonate sections together without adhesive, which initially seemed impossible.   Joining techniques that existed at the time would have left a visible and unsightly seam.  The Mr. Impossible chair was launched at the Milan International Furniture Fair in 2007. 

Mr. Impossible chair

The Mr. Impossible chair.  Image source: Plataforma Arquitectura.  Click below to be taken to the Plataforma Arquitectura site.

Plataforma Arquitectura logo

In the September, 2008 Wired, Starck was asked what the inspiration was for Mr. Impossible.  He responded:

The speed of evolution for our civilization and the dematerialization that rules all our production.  Take the computer:  It was the size of a room, then a briefcase.  Now it’s a credit card.  You cannot dematerialize a chair completely, because you must continue to sit on it.  But you can make it invisible.  That’s why I made the Mr. Impossible with a double shell – it’s basically made of air.

Mr. Impossible was designed in collaboration with Eugeni Quitllet.  Born in April, 1972, Quitllet began studying design at the Ibiza art school in 1991 and earned a Diploma of Design and Interior Design at La Llotja (Spanish for “The Exchange,” so called because it is located on the top floor of the stock exchange.  The school boasts Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró as attendees) art school in Barcelona, Spain in 1996.  Quitllet met Starck in Formentera in 2001 and has worked with him on numerous projects.  The Magic Hole trio of two seater sofa, and two armchairs for Kartell come to mind as another outstanding result of their work together.

Mr. Impossible technical data sheet

Mr. Impossible technical data sheet.

The seat is made of transparent or batch-dyed polycarbonate and the frame is made of transparent polycarbonate.  There are two molds, one for the sear and one for the legs.  The two parts are welded by laser to produce a nearly indestructible, colorful, textural and seamless design.

Mr. Impossible chair

Close up of the Mr. Impossible chair.

Mr. Impossible chairs

A selection of Mr. Impossible chairs in a variety of colors.

The Mr. Impossible chair comes in 9 colors, transparent: crystal, green, grey, ochre, purple, and red orange, and opaque:  Kartell red, white, and black.  The Mr. Impossible chair is 55 cm wide by 54 cm deep and 84 cm tall.  The seat height is 46 cm. 

A short design and history video of the aptly named Mr. Impossible chair from YouTube.

Starck with Mr. Impossible Chair

Philippe Starck with Mr. Impossible chairs.  Image source:  Indish.

New York Kartell Flagship, Mr. Impossible

New York Kartell flagship in May, 2008 exhibiting and celebrating the Mr. Impossible chair.  Image source:  Mocoloco.  Click the logo to the right to be taken to the Mocoloco site. Mocoloco logo


Gaut, Adrian. (2009, September). Design: Impossibly Starck. Wired, 88.

Retrieved February 21, 2011 from Eugeni Quitllet:  http://eugeniquitllet.com/bio.htm

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Anonymous said...

Do Stark and Quitllet copied two IED Students?

During 2009-2010 period my brother Francisco Tomey and his friend Jimena Azula
started their Senior Year of interior designer carreer at IED Barcelona. To get
graduated they have to develope a fin...al proyect. This proyect must be an
innovative desgin.

They started to develop their proyect on september 2009, and did their final
presentation on June 2010. Because the quality of their project, IED Barcelona,
invited them to part of the EME3 Festival, where they must built a 1:1 scale
prototype of their proyect to show it. EME3 took place on September 2010

To see the proyect and its explanation you can see the image at
http://www.naojitomey.com/#!projects/albumphotos13=5 . Because of a limited
budget they built the most simple type of the different prototypes they designed

for the proyect (If its necesary I can send you the complete catalogue of

Yesterday, browsing at Yahoo, I saw this article

according to this article the creators of this concept are the famous designers
Philippe Stark and Eugeni Quittlet.

When I saw the picture I was amazed of how similar were the concept and designs
from the students Tomey and Azula and the desgin from Stark and Quitllet. So I
have a question to Mr. Stark and Mr. Quitllet, could they explain me how they
develope the concept of the sofa at the picture? Isn't too much coincidence that

Mr. Quitllet is Catalan and EME3 Festival where Tomey and Azula presented their
proyect was Barcelona?

I'm pretty sure that IED Barcelona staff wouldn't give a green light to Tomey
and Azula to present their final carreer proyect and show them in the EME3
festival knowing that this sofa concept already exists.

As I told you if you need further information pictures and more prototypes to
see how similar are the designs I can send it to you.

I really hope that you publish this submit, 'cause for me is awfull to see how
famous designer does not respect new designers work. This is the reason why I'm
writing to every blog where I found the Stark and Quitllet names.

Victor M. Tomey

I'm wirting you because you I don't know that AP, the author of the article,
would do something about this kind of actions, I've already sent them an email,
and I'm really pist off about this issue.

I hope that you as real journalist that you are can do something about this
information that I'm sending to you. I'm writing to all Press Agencies that I
know, I think that if its not you one of the other agencies would listen to my
calims.See More

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