Salone del Mobile is just around the corner and we’re starting to catch a few glimpses of what’s in store.
This week Expormim previewed the Gata chair and Gres stools designed by Miguel and Gonzalo Milá, with an exclusive exhibition held in a former greenhouse in Barcelona. In true Expormim form, the rattan chair and stools have flowing and organic lines, balanced form and the appearance of sitting lightly on the floor.
Miguel Milá has been at the forefront of contemporary Spanish design since the 1950s and over the duration of his stellar career has never lost his feeling for tactile materials and traditional techniques. Now he and his son Gonzalo, also an industrial designer, have created the Gata and Gres having developed and prototyped the seats over several years.
The Gata chair is named for the small Spanish village Gata de Gorgos where Miguel originally learnt to work with rattan, and its form originated from the Miguel and Gonzalo’s pursuit to create a perfect balance between the elements, shapes and diameters of the rattan cane. And despite the beauty of the chair’s resolved and harmonious form – or perhaps because of it – Miguel describes the Gata as the most difficult design he’s ever done. “There are thousands of chairs and many [are] high-level. Producing a chair that is just a bit better in any aspect is complicated. But we did it, or at least I believe so,” Miguel says.
The Gata chair has been designed for comfort with a focus on ergonomics and longevity, and its smooth lines flow to create a handle at the top of the chair for easy portability. “For me, functionality, comfort and ergonomics always come first, and immediately [after] there comes aesthetics,” Miguel explains. “I have always claimed a chair remains unused most of the time. When there is no one sitting on it, the chair helps build the space [and] creates an atmosphere. And Gata accomplishes this.”
Expormim also debuted the Miguel and Gonzalo’s Gres stools, which reinterpret an Expormim piece dating from 1962. Designed in a high and low version, the Gres stool has four curving and articulated rattan frames that comprise the base, almost like an upside-down tulip. It has a cushioned seat and the taller edition has a glistening metal circle that serves as a footrest and helps to further support the construction.
The preview showcased these new editions alongside other pieces of rattan furniture that Expormim has become famous for, including the Nautica swing chair by MUT Design and the Fontal chair by Oscar Tusquets Blanca.
Salone del Mobile kicks off on 4 April and we’re excited to see Expormim’s Gata and Gres up close and in person.