Since its inception, a core value of the Arflex brand has been its collaborations with designers, architects and engineers, using cultural experimentation to realise new products.
Architecture practice Neri&Hu was approached to design a desirable seating product with an emphasis on its construction. As such, the genesis of the design concept of Cradle is the structure: a classic triangulated construction that is repeated several times around the chair, so that you can admire it from each point of view.
The cow-hide strap that rolls up around the rigid frame covered by fabric, which holds soft cushions, is fixed between the steel structures of the feet, creating a cradle. The armchair draws both from the rich lineage of Italian furniture, known for its bold sculptural shapes, as well as from the modernist sensibility, that demands an honest structural expression.
Rather than conceal the framework and attempt to make the chair levitate off the ground, the elegantly crafted supporting elements themselves become the highlight of the piece.