To celebrate the Panton Chair’s 50th anniversary, Vitra has launched two exciting limited editions of this iconic design with the help of advanced technical know-how.
8 February 2018
Text by Janice Seow
A collaboration between Danish designer Verner Panton and Vitra, the Panton Chair was unveiled to the public in 1968 as the first all-plastic cantilever chair to be manufactured in one piece. Today, it’s one of the most recognisable furniture designs of the modern day.
This year, to mark the chair’s 50th anniversary, Vitra is issuing two limited editions of this celebrated classic in chrome and glow.
Verner Panton was fascinated by mirrored surfaces throughout his career. With the new Panton Chrome edition, an old dream of the designer finally comes to fruition: back in the 1970s he had explored the option of giving the Panton Chair a mirrored surface. He felt that the chair’s dynamic curves were particularly suited to a reflective coating; however, the sensitivity of such a surface to scratching was an insurmountable technical obstacle at that time. Today, a reliable yet complex procedure is available. The dazzling mirrored effect of Panton Chrome is the result of a metallisation process, in which metal particles are embedded in multiple layers of varnish. This coating system is resilient enough to cope with the slight movement of the cantilever chair when in use, while being sufficiently robust to protect the sensitive surface.
Panton Chrome will be available in March 2018
The Danish designer was also deeply interested in innovative technologies, techniques and materials. He worked with lighting, colour and luminous elements in many of his futuristic interiors. For his 1970 installation ‘Visiona 2’, in particular, he developed walls and ceilings that appeared to glow from within as a result of their layout and colour scheme, giving the room a psychedelic look. With this in mind, Vitra has developed the new Panton Glow. In an elaborate process, five layers of varnish containing phosphorescent pigments are applied by hand to the raw polyester resin shell of the Panton Classic and sealed with a high-gloss protective coating. The luminous pigments absorb daylight and emit a blue glow in the dark.
Panton Glow will be available in June 2018
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