Karbon, the carbon fibre chair from Actiu, gets a Red Dot Product Design Award for its launch
Karbon is an iconic and avant-garde piece of industrial art, created from carbon fibre and the result of combining the most advanced technology with the artisan know-how
Its timeless, elegant and avant-garde design transcends the passage of time and generates new interactions and emotional experiences with clients
Karbon is a challenge for Actiu, who has stepped outside the comfort zone through the creativity, the innovation and courage to create a product from a material that forces them to reinvent themselves as a company
The 2019 Red Dot Awards, one of the most prestigious international product design awards, have recognised the innovation of the Karbon chair, designed as a piece of industrial art worthy of a museum, whose base is carbon fibre.
The Karbon design reinterprets carbon fibre and it is applied for the first time in furniture, creating an iconic and exclusive object that directly connects with people's sensitivity and emotions. It is the result of two years of research, work and intense collaboration between Actiu and designer Javier Cuñado from ITEMDesignworks.
“We wanted to surprise the user through technological innovation and new processes and materials. In this regard, carbon fibre, which is traditionally associated to elite sports and the aerospace industry, has allowed us to create freer and more creative shapes than other raw materials, such as plastic or metal. We had to unlearn everything we knew about conventional processes and their limitations in order to be freer and take advantage of all the possibilities of carbon fibre.”, states Javier Cuñado.
Karbon combines a timeless design that seduces with its forms, with impeccable ergonomics that falls in love with its warmth, lightness and functionality. A product that enhances the value of space, becoming its hallmark.
At the same time, it is a technical piece that combines very advanced technological processes with a handcrafted production: it takes 45 days to create one of these chairs.
“We like to know that we are going forward when we have interesting challenges. Believe in ourselves and be courageous to step outside our daily routine every now and then to step into unknown worlds, is our way to reinvent and get better. Bet on the creativity, the innovation and the internal talent is how we carry these projects. Karbon is a big challenge for us because once we imagine developing a seat that would make us vibrate and dream. With a timeless aesthetics, artistic curves and a material from the aerospace industry, karbon sounds promising.” Explains Soledat Berbegal.
“To create each of the six parts that form Karbon chairs, layers of carbon fibre impregnated with resin have to be superimposed. Then, in order to achieve millimetric precision, they are placed in a closed steel mould, which must spend three hours in the furnace for the resin to harden and the piece adopts the aesthetics characteristic of the composites.”, points out the designer.
The pieces are empty inside, what makes the chair weight just 3 kilos, but at the same time very resistant thanks to the qualities of the carbon fibre.
“We wanted to create a cascade of surprises in the user's first interaction with the chair. Firstly, its sophisticated and exclusive aesthetic, as it shines like metal. Secondly, its touch which, contrary to what it may seem, is tremendously warm and sensual. In third place, its lightness. And in fourth, its solidity and the comfort experienced when sitting on it”, continues Javier Cuñado.
Its exclusive, elegant and ingenious design allows Karbon to create angles and silhouettes from a 3D effect frame that captures light and creates a unique visual effect, with a perfectly polished surface that provides new interactions and experiences between chair and user.
These characteristics make Karbon the perfect example of precision joined with a forward-looking. An essential piece for lovers of creativity and exclusivity.
Its designer reinforces this, "its character linked to industrial art, the fact that they are exclusive and numbered pieces and the extreme durability of carbon fibre can turn these chairs into cult and collector's items, which will remain unchanged over time and where an emotional connection is established”.
“Karbon is a business project that has forced us to change our innovation concept thinking long-term and giving a momentum or reactivation that guide us to imagine new processes, break the stability and constantly improve. Karbon is just the beginning of a new way to create in Actiu.” Concludes Berbegal.