In collaboration with Christophe Pillet, new expressions of refined simplicity

With the 2020 collection, Flexform begins a new collaboration with Christophe Pillet for the indoor and outdoor line. An encounter of similar visions of design, in a spirit of total compositional freedom

Christophe Pillet
Christophe Pillet

“What do I like about Flexform? Their generous, sunny, timeless modernity. Their refined, clear, elegant and forceful simplicity.” A perfectly apt definition of the company’s spirit, expressed without reservations or shadings by Christophe Pillet, who makes his debut on the brand’s creative roster this year. The vision of the Parisian designer – balancing sensuality and refinement – goes perfectly with the Flexform identity, as a question of affinities and values that become tangible in the resulting creations: the First Steps and Echoes seating, the Any Day console and tables, in the indoor and outdoor versions.

“I was cordially invited to visit the factory and, if I wanted, to propose designs for furniture in a very free way – Christophe Pillet recalls. For me it was a great pleasure to respond to this invitation, to be able to share passions and visions of design, in a number of sketches. The intense discussions are still among the finest moments of this collaboration.” In an approach of compositional freedom, creations have been developed that take their places in an equally free way in contemporary décor settings, enhancing and completing them by relying on an archetypal essence.

First Steps, lyric simplicity 

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The First Steps chair (also available in a stool version) is a pertinent example: the aesthetic rigor is balanced by research on materials and forms; the sinuous structure that rises to form the back, in fact, is in white coated and burnished metal, while the dense weave of the seat comes in versions in paper cord or river straw, entirely made by hand. In the outdoor version – even more minimal in the design of the back – these materials are replaced by epoxy-coated stainless steel for the structure, and polypropylene cord for the weave.

Echoes… of style 

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The Echoes series, a small family of seats whose name reveals its inspiration, based on different stylistic echoes, follows the same guidelines in terms of materials: warm Mediterranean identity combined with Scandinavian rigor. A mixture of tastes of such impact as to elude any indication of time. The visible structure of the base is a noteworthy feature, a composition of planes that triggers an effect of airy lightness in the seating.

Any Day, refined balance

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The composition of the Any Day console is also apparently simple (the concept has also been applied to a family of small tables and an ottoman): the rigorous stainless steel structure supports a part veneered in Canaletto walnut (in multiple finishes) and equipped with practical drawers (with a top in wood, or different types of marble). All replaced by solid iroko wood for the corresponding outdoor version. The game of geometric forms, joints and material combinations reveals unexpected details, in an overall outcome of the highest craftsmanship.

This modus operandi constantly sets the tone of Pillet’s design, as he explains it himself: “The idea is that the value of the object, its quality, its uniqueness and seduction, do not depend on the originality or outlandishness of the design, but on the extreme quality of its making. We might say, ‘a normal object abnormally well made.’ The design, namely my work in this context, can be summed up as the control of correct proportions and surfaces of expression of the materials and the know-how utilized. As in Italian cuisine, the high quality of the ingredients and the extreme precision of timing can accomplish a miracle.”