27 June 2014
Hella Jongerius is living proof that design research and product design can go hand in hand. Over the course of her career she has worked on special editions of a distinctly experimental character as well as for the mainstream market, always with an awareness of the limits that every condition places on design. This project for the lounge of the United Nations Building in New York, in collaboration with Vitra, is the latest confirmation. Breaking out of the schemes of an excessively regimented formal setting, the Dutch designer has come up with a comfortable and colorful interior, able to instil a good mood and sense of optimism, precious ingredients in a context of international confrontation and exchange. The East River Chair, designed for the occasion, fully embodies this spirit thanks to the wide range of colors available and the intuition of providing a handle at the back that allows it to be moved around easily. The variation in materials and colors makes it an object that can be customized and adapted to suit the setting in which it is used, thereby breaking down the now superfluous barriers between home and contract furniture, between public and private.