Innovative materials for outdoor furniture

Research on materials, their combinations, sustainability and innovation in the world of fabrics, are all raising the bar for outdoor furniture, making it a natural extension of interior décor

Kettal outdoor collections
Kettal outdoor collections

New ways of living, with a new focus on outdoor settings, reinforcing the idea of open-air furnishings with the same status as indoor models. The outdoor orientation keeps growing, leading many companies to conduct research in the field of materials, finding ways to make them durable and resistant to weathering, often with recycled and recyclable materials, to find a perfect balance between good looks and functional quality.

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Rodolfo Dordoni, a firm believer in indoor-outdoor interaction, has designed the Molo XL collection for Kettal, composed of sofas for two or three seats, single and double chaises longues with teak legs, and a new ‘low’ base in aluminium with Terrain fabrics of surprising softness.

Aluminium is also a main feature of Buit by Mayice Studio for Gandiablasco. The collection, a tribute to the properties of aluminium and the result of in-depth study of its strength and ergonomics, includes two versatile and innovative pieces: a club chair and a table that transforms into a pouf. The hard material forms a contrast with the softness of the textiles, created in collaboration with Kvadrat Febrik.

American designer Stephen Burks mixes industry and crafts, presenting the new Islands Low Tables for Living Divani, shaped, beveled, painted in matte black, with top and bottom in Purenit®, a polyurethane-based product that prevents alterations caused by climate factors.

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Giant steps in the field of fabrics, taken by Paola Lenti and then also applied to the Harbour collection, a modular system designed by Francesco Rota, with structures covered in fabric and comfortable cushions made with Aerelle® Blue, the new completely recycled fiber that makes the production of all the company’s upholstered furnishings fully eco-sustainable.

Borea, the collection by Piero Lissoni for B&B Italia, also approaches the theme of sustainability; the padding of the two or three-seat sofas and armchairs is in 100% polyester, derived from recycling of PET plastic bottles (to make the filler of a three-seat sofa, 510 bottles of 1500 ml are utilized).

Also with an eye on recycling, the industrial program Regeneration by Nardi gathers obsolete outdoor furniture to regenerate its plastics. This initiative has led to a project by Raffaello Galiotto, Sipario, a modular divider for outdoor use with planters.

i.con by Starpool
i.con by Starpool

Talking about the materials recycling, the brilliant idea of Starpool is to reuse the  transport containers in the wellness sector creating the i.con sauna, i.con steam e i.con relax. Easy to move and install, these units, designed by MFOR studio, are perfect for all the environments: from the outdoor of hotels, residences or campings, to the home garden of inside nature. The Finnish sauna, the steam bath and the relaxation area of ​​i.con spa can host the modular products of the Starpool collections.

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With the launch of Ria by Alberto Lievore, Fast introduces the use of waterproof cord for the first time, which together with the wide range of water-repellent and waterproof fabrics joins the company’s main material, aluminium. The Ria chair mixes its aluminium structure with braided cords to cover the seat, like a tailored garment.

The theme of cords returns in the Kobo collection for Manutti (design Stephane De Winter), available in the armchair and three-seat sofa versions, in the colors anthracite and silver. It has an invisible frame, covered by a triple woven cord of synthetic fabric, water-repellent and resistant to UV rays.

Trampoline by Patricia Urquiola for Cassina has expanded its range with a new chair, a two-seat sofa and three modular components. It stands out – as for the first launch of the love-bed – for its weave of polypropylene and nylon cord, made by hand. The collection utilizes innovative and sustainable materials, which are also recycled and recyclable.

DR by Agape, Design Marcio Kogan, Studio Mk27
DR by Agape, Design Marcio Kogan, Studio Mk27

Cementoskin® is a new material generated with a compound of cement and resin, as an ‘evolved cement’ that permits free geometric design of products, while making them very resistant to wear. It has been used for the DR tub by Agape, which in the words of its creator Marcio Kogan (Studio Mk27) has been conceived with the “aim of creating a friendly, sensual and charismatic object.”