Certain chairs make such a strong first impression that they immediately take a place in our consciousness. Some are powerful, solid and deliberately down-to-earth. Others because of their playful lightness and elegance. mudra, the new universal chair by Brunner and Diez Office, definitely belongs to the latter category. The sculptural chair acts like an inviting gesture that brings the formal and ecological possibilities of shaped wood technology into the present.
Its subtle yet present character is determined by the curved opening of the backrest, which beautifully encloses the back without limiting it to one sitting position. At the same time, it is light and elastic so as to yield to all movements. Ergonomics in an endless loop – as if mudra not only offered a comfortable seat, but also rested within itself.
An association that can also be traced back to the name of the chair. Based on the symbolic hand positions of Buddha and translated from Sanskrit, it means 'that which brings joy'. The closed circle stands for a particularly good flow of energy. mudra is a chair that brings joy and closes the circle in many respects.
A meeting of design minds
mudra is the first result of the collaboration between Brunner, a contract furniture manufacturer from Baden, and Stefan Diez, a designer from Munich. 'I have been following Stefan Diez's work for a long time and have always been impressed by his attention to detail and how deeply he delves into construction and material', says Dr. Marc Brunner.
What the two partners have in common is not only the high standards of design and functionality, but also the joy of innovation in terms of material processing, the necessary know-how in production issues and the drive for perfectionism. The ideal combination for thinking beyond previous seating shells and creating an evolutionary chair.
What distinguishes mudra, apart from its iconic design language, is the drive to explore ergonomic and technical boundaries, to redefine them and, with the help of moulded wood technology, to develop a product that continues to write the history of the shell chair in terms of material, form and sustainability claim. 'We wanted to extract what captures seventy years of Plywood history from all overall design perspective. mudra is about evolution', Stefan Diez sums up the project.
The development of the seat shell posed the greatest challenge. Because the deformation required an open, natural-looking loop shape, the concept pushes 3D moulded wood technology to the extreme. The result is not only a design that is conceptually and aesthetically exciting, but also one that makes its sophisticated production process, high-quality materiality and value visible.
Environmentally conscious production
Sustainability also plays an essential part in mudra – from the recyclable raw compounds to the minimised use of materials. In addition, all individual components are connected to each other in the simplest possible way so that they can be easily dismantled, replaced, cleaned and repaired. In this way, mudra ensures real longevity, especially in areas of application such as the catering trade or in semi-public areas. Here, too, the circle is closed.
While the organic loop shape already provided elegant lightness and mobility in baroque chair designs of the 17th century, this characteristic has become even more important in densely packed and changeable times. Thus, thanks to its clear openness, mudra not only maintains a clear view in the circle of chairs, but also lends a certain transparency to the larger ensemble. 'With mudra, we have developed a product that defines itself through its self-evidence', Stefan Diez explains the design approach.
An obviously understated chair that only stacks up in practice: 'A Brunner piece of furniture should not only look good, but also function well. The stackability of the main product is therefore essential. This makes it a typical Brunner product. We see mudra as a universal chair that can function in different contexts, in the cafeteria, in the hospitality sector - the chair has countless areas of application', says Dr. Marc Brunner.
In addition to the archetypal shell, the sub-frames define mudra's different uses. The steel frame is particularly suitable for use in catering areas, while the wooden frame gives the seat shell a more homely character and can be employed in private homes or hotel lobbies.
Whether in a small or large circle, on the living room parquet or at a banquet, mudra remains light-footed and relaxed in every situation. A chair that would certainly also please Buddha. Find out more about mudra here.