Harmonie très française
Uncino by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec
for Mattiazzi
May 6, 2014

“Uncino” is one of those chairs that you immediately find fascinating. Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec designed it for Italian wooden furniture specialists Mattiazzi, for whom they created the “Osso” chair. With their second piece of the company they once again demonstrate conclusively why they are one of the driving forces in design today.

The formal idiom is lighthearted and balanced, and the chair is decidedly “très français” with its structure of refined bent metal rods holding together the wooden sections so clearly reminiscent of wrought iron garden chairs. Yet it is above all the especially harmonious combination of wood and iron that is so utterly compelling: The wooden elements of the backrest and seat snugly surround the rods, visually cladding them almost as softly as would fabric – hardly a coincidence if we remember that textiles have always been among the Bouroullecs’ preferred materials, as was evidenced of late by their countless collaborative efforts with Danish textile company Kvadrat. “Uncino” is also a prime example of what can be achieved today thanks to digital production methods (specifically multi-axis CNC lathes). There was a time when the chair would have involved so much hand craftsmanship as to be quite unaffordable, let alone possible as a mass product.

If you sit down on an “Uncino” (available in three versions, as a swivel chair with either a broad or slender backrest, or on rockers with a broad backrest) then enjoy stroking your fingers slowly and reverently over the softly curved black oak, untreated oak, or walnut sections. (MM)

“Uncino is almost primitive. It’s a chair collection composed by two or three pieces of perfect numerically sculpted wood, held by simple metal rods” – Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. Photo © Mattiazzi
Version B – with narrow back. Photo © Mattiazzi
Version A – with bold back. Photo © Mattiazzi