MC25 — PAF PAF

MARIALAURA IRVINE

CHAIR
LOUNGE

MATERIALS
Ash wood of European origin and legal wood cutting
with removable fabric / leather upholstery

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GALLERY

MC 25 — PAF PAF
CHAIR
Natural wax on ash with fabric upholstery
BY MARIALAURA IRVINE

MC 25 — PAF PAF
LOUNGE
Walnut stain on ash with fabric upholstery
BY MARIALAURA IRVINE

MC 25 — PAF PAF
LOUNGE
Natural wax on ash with leather upholstery
BY MARIALAURA IRVINE

MC 25 — PAF PAF
CHAIR
Natural wax on ash with fabric upholstery
BY MARIALAURA IRVINE

MC 25 — PAF PAF
CHAIR
Walnut stain on ash with fabric upholstery
BY MARIALAURA IRVINE

MC 25 — PAF PAF
LOUNGE
Walnut stain on ash with leather upholstery
BY MARIALAURA IRVINE

MC 25 — PAF PAF
CHAIR
Walnut stain on ash with fabric upholstery
BY MARIALAURA IRVINE

MC 25 — PAF PAF
CHAIR
Walnut stain on ash with leather upholstery
BY MARIALAURA IRVINE

MC 25 — PAF PAF
CHAIR
Walnut stain on ash with fabric upholstery
BY MARIALAURA IRVINE

2024 NOVELTY - PAF PAF LOUNGE

Konstantin Grcic: The presentation of your PAF PAF chair caused quite a stir at last year’s Salone del Mobile. The design was completely new in terms of appearance and comfort. This year you are expanding the collection with a lounge chair. How does the new chair differ from its older sister?
Marialaura Irvine: PAF PAF chair was a challenge. No compromises. The form was the result of this process and the lounge chair is a direct consequence: a big cloud to sink into! It has expanded, lowered, while the thickness of the section has increased, but the PAF PAF chair has always been coherent and true to its initial essence: comfort, simplicity and the mixed use of different materials (wood, fabric, feathers). The final result is the continued research of a proportion between the freedom of feathers and the fabric that have been used. In fact, in addition to bouclé, we have included new materials such as cotton fabrics and leather.

KG: I find the lounge chair even more PAF PAF than the original chair. The idea of sitting on a cloud suits this type of low and reclined chair. Good design takes time, especially when you’re creating something different. PAF PAF is based on a very simple idea, but turning it into a product was anything but easy. What was the biggest challenge of the project?
MI: It was not easy to be consistent and not to give in to the use of polyurethane, which makes everything ‘perfect’, which makes everything return to form. PAF PAF looks for the action with the object, the interaction that completes the process. Basically, a human approach that brings the object closer to the people who use it. The complex work was a constant balancing and rebalancing of the sections, the inclination, the size, the number of feathers, the type of fabric, the stitches, the fastenings between the zips, the Velcro, the shape of the inner inserts in the two cushions… In short, we use different materials that behave differently to achieve a common goal: ease of use. Shortcuts are not our method!

KG: Now that the project is finished, can you talk about the kind of environment or situation you would see the PAF PAF lounge being used in… and by whom?
MI: PAF PAF has been described as irreverent. I like this definition because irreverence allows it to blend into any environment. It ‘whispers’, it doesn’t scream style or status. The new lounge version is simply an inviting seat that welcomes you to relax. I can imagine it in the living room of a modern New York penthouse, ‘dressed’ in leather, with a manager smoking a cigar; in the library of a Palladian villa in Veneto, in a sage green textured fabric, with a teenager cross-legged reading King Arthur, in a refuge on the peaks of Mont Blanc, in front of an open fireplace in a bouclé version, with a tired couple sipping a glass of wine, in the lobby of a hotel in Tokyo, with a beige cotton fabric, with children sitting cross-legged, and finally at my home, naked, without fabric to show itself in its integrity, with two pillows for sleeping.

PAF PAF CHAIR - INTERVIEW WITH THE DESIGNER

Konstantin Grcic: The briefing of your project was to design an upholstered chair for collezione Mattiazzi. It is your first project for Mattiazzi, which can have its pitfalls, because you don’t know each other yet. Mattiazzi are known for their excellence in making wooden chairs. With upholstery, their experience is little to none. It became a journey for both of you. How did you approach the project – what were the few important cornerstones for you?
Marialaura Irvine: The challenge was to design an upholstered chair that respected Mattiazzi’s DNA: to make a wooden chair soft and inviting. Therefore creating a balance between two concepts and two totally different materials: wood and upholstery, perfection and imperfection, rigidity and softness. Liberating the materials, of which an upholstered chair is composed, allowing them to express their essence and production processes. In my imagination it was the meeting of the masculine and feminine sides, showing Mattiazzi’s perfection and geometric rigour in woodworking and how to accommodate the beauty of imperfection in upholstery. By respecting these dichotomies, we have simplified their union and eventual separation. The final aesthetics are a consequence of this process.

KG: You had a very strong opinion about the sustainability of your project – and especially with regard to the upholstery. It was important to you to find an alternative to conventional polyurethane foam – and you succeeded. Can you say something about the upholstered elements of the chair, what they are made of and, of course, what kind of comfort they provide?
MI: The sustainable approach was to separate the materials and specify the components: wood, recycled feathers and fabric. Then I asked myself what comfort was, a backrest and a seat to sink into. I imagined a soft cloud fitting into a solid wooden structure. The imperfection of the form meeting the rigour of the structure. I immediately thought of a pillow, of how it takes the shape of your head when you sleep and then in the morning with a simple gesture of your hands becomes plump again. Paf Paf. The feather that regenerates in the sun to be eternal. Materials then that can be separated, washed, regenerated, reciprocated or given a second life.

KG: Listening to you, everything sounds so simple, natural. I know that a lot of work and persistence goes into making things become simple. Now, could you say something about the kind of chair PAF PAF is, what it looks like or rather what kind of personality you see in it?
MI: Your brief was a real challenge showing me a throne from the 1300s. You told me ‘there is something radical in this simplicity’… I grew up in southern Italy where big, heavy chairs were my everyday life: dark wood frame, custom upholstery from the family’s upholsterer, studs to fix the fabric, decorations carved in wood that stood tall, seats that forced you to stand up straight! I stripped that imagery of superstructures, challenging Mattiazzi to develop a decomposable chair, making it lighter and lighter. The wooden frame stacks, the seat and backrest are easily attached, the covers come off. So simplicity in terms of logistics, storage and transport, and in terms of product life. Paf Paf is my vision of a contemporary throne: honest and with a strong character, able to develop into further versions in the future.

DESIGNER
THE COLLECTION