Emeco’s New “1951” Chair Designed by BMW has Good Karma

A fortuitous discovery on eBay lead to ‘1951’, Emeco's newest aluminum chair. Designed by Adrian van Hooydonk and BMW DesignworksUSA, the new chair will début at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile this April in Milan, Italy. The new chair joins award-winning work by Philippe Starck and Frank Gehry.

(PRWEB) February 25, 2005 -- A fortuitous discovery on eBay lead to ‘1951’, Emeco's newest aluminum chair. Designed by Adrian van Hooydonk and BMW DesignworksUSA, the new chair will début at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile this April in Milan, Italy. The new chair joins award-winning work by Philippe Starck and Frank Gehry.

"We found a long lost chair on eBay dated 1951," recalled Gregg Buchbinder, Emeco's Chairman and CEO. "The chair was built by Emeco for US government hospitals. We appreciated the straightforwardness of the 50's original, but it needed rationalization - and attitude. That's Adrian and Designworks' expertise."

"Gregg wanted to do a re-edition of the chair but we quickly agreed that Emeco should create a version of ‘1951’ that retained Emeco's DNA, yet looked forward," said Adrian van Hooydonk, Director of BMW Brand Design in Munich.

"Gregg instinctively knows what is good for Emeco and we agreed that the modernization of the original chair would be 100 % Classic Emeco - simple, utilitarian and masculine. Lines and surfaces were discussed at length, as well as the "Stance" of the new ‘1951’, which is a lot more dynamic than the original. The design phase that followed was one of the most collaborative and rewarding experiences of my life.

I had dealt with similar issues designing modern cars for the Mini and BMW brands, and I have incorporated these ideas. ‘1951’ is the first Emeco product that combines new materials for the seat and back - technically molded ABS plastic, with classic aluminum construction. This will allow customers to add color and simplifies manufacturing - reducing cost.

As in good car-design, these added functional elements create a clean, simple and dynamic look that will appeal to costumers on an emotional level while projecting strength."

The new ‘1951’ chair stacks six high and will retail for US$250, or $120 less than Emeco's classic 1006 Navy chair. The brushed/ anodized aluminum frame supports a generous ABS plastic seat and back available in five standard colors. Matching bar and counter stools are available. The chairs and stools carry Emeco's famous lifetime guarantee and are completely American made at Emeco’s historic Hanover Pennsylvania facility. Emeco’s use of post-consumer recycled aluminum makes its furniture LEED ™ compliant.

Named a "Master of Design" by Fast Company magazine in 2004, Adrian van Hooydonk was recently elevated to Director of Design for BMW Automobiles in Munich, Germany from his post as President of BMW DesignworksUSA. During his tenure with the company, the 41-year-old Netherlands-born van Hooydonk has been responsible for the design of the exterior of the Mini ACV30 concept car shown in Monte Carlo in 1997 and at the Museum of Modern Art in 1999; the exterior of the BMW Z9 Gran Turismo shown in Frankfurt in 1999; and the exterior design of numerous upcoming BMW models.

“Design should make the world less complicated," says Mr. van Hooydonk. "The world is crazy enough without designers making it worse. The trick is to simplify but maintain the emotion."

Designworks/USA is a strategic design consultancy and member of the BMW Group, based in Newbury Park, California. Designworks was founded in 1972 by internationally acclaimed designer Charles Pelly and acquired by the German automaker BMW in 1995. The company specializes in the areas of automotive, transport and industrial design, and advanced communications.

Emeco was founded in 1944 to make all-aluminum chairs for the US Navy. Mr. Buchbinder purchased the company in 1998 and began a friendship and association with the renowned French architect, Philippe Starck, creating a series of products that united Emeco's historic manufacturing capabilities with Mr. Starck's classic designs for a new century. In 2000, Mr. Starck's Hudson chair for Emeco won the GOOD DESIGN Award and was inducted into the permanent design collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2004, Emeco collaborated with the American architect Frank Gehry on Superlight, a chair that utilizes aluminum's ability to be both strong and flexible. Mr. Gehry's chair won another GOOD DESIGN award in 2004 and was included in collections at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC and the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. The new 1951 chair can be seen at the Furniture Fair in Milan at Emeco’s stand CO1 in Pavilion 20, Hall 1.

Emeco has made over 1,000,000 Navy chairs since 1944, and now sells its all-aluminum furniture in 29 countries. Please visit www.emeco.net.

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Source: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/2/prweb212071.htm