2023 / MC24 — SETA
The interview

Konstantin Grcic: SETA is your second chair for Mattiazzi. What features would you say are particularly Mattiazzi about the design?
Mike Holland: The design stemmed from a conversation with Nevio and Paolo at Mattiazzi, about the idea of creating an efficient stacking chair with soft geometry. Mattiazzi’s knowledge of crafting in timber and their deep understanding of CNC technology, is what makes the chair synonymous with them.


KG: The chair looks beautifully simple. However, simple is never quite simple. You speak about the chair’s efficiency… I assume that this is the result of a painstaking process. What were the main design challenges during the development of the chair?
MH: Thank you. I think the whole process of design is a challenge of balancing many factors. Developing SETA was an iterative process of adding and subtracting, until we found something that worked. Initially, the chair was developed using an ergonomic rig. Then we moved on to creating a series of fullscale models to refine the form, structure and sit of the chair. Throughout the process, we worked closely with Mattiazzi to perfect the design and manufacturing process. This continuous exchange allowed us to design a chair that is efficient, lightweight and greatly informed by their way of working.


KG: I imagine that your projects for Foster + Partners are strongly integrated into the context of architecture. Does SETA also have an architectural reference? What kind of places or situations did you have in mind for the chair?
MH: Some of our industrial design projects are directly inspired by – or driven by the needs of – an architectural project. Others come from direct briefs or are developed independently within the team. However, I think all of our projects pick up on the architectural influences around us. Architecture can help us define what a product needs to do – it is a great testbed. SETA is extremely versatile, due to its stackable and ergonomic form. It offers a solution that is suited to a variety of settings, from office and commercial to domestic uses.