Woven wonder

An armchair and a lounge armchair like a gentle summer breeze. Pedrali’s "Panarea" collection by CMP Design lends a new twist to classic wickerwork.
by Anna Moldenhauer | 3/15/2021

The best results are often achieved through experimentation: Inspired by the weave of a basket which Italian designer trio CMP Design glimpsed on a trip to Kyoto, on their return home, Michele Cazzaniga, Simone Mandelli and Antonio Pagliarulo had local weavers produce trial products. The aim was to develop an attractive weave that could form the backrest of a stackable armchair. "This research work gave birth to ‘Panarea’ for Pedrali," the designers explain. The name "Panarea" cites the eponymous island by off the North coast of Sicily but also the associations that arise when we look at the light, airy design: "The idea of a small island in the middle of the sea immediately suggests a distance to the big-city context," say the CMP designers. The wickerwork with a triangular pattern references nature, a summery Mediterranean atmosphere, and the time that slowly elapses while the structure is carefully created. By virtue of its light, delicate design alone "Panarea" tells a story of craftsmanship, meditative scenery and relaxing hours you can while away free of constraints.

An important aspect of the design was the transparency of the weave, "because an outdoor chair has to be light enough to be moved around easily but heavy enough so as not to fly away in the wind," explains CMP Design. As such, there is also a practical aspect to the visual lightness of "Panarea". Seen close up the elegant weave that covers the broad backrest reveals many small triangles of polypropylene cord, that is 100% recyclable and easy to clean and sanitise. This same cord then wraps itself gracefully around the armrests. Comfort is provided by a cushion of polyurethane foam whose open-pored structure ensures it dries very quickly should it happen to get caught in a shower. And the collection is equally protected against the harmful rays of the sun because the fabric used for the cushion covers is colorfast as is the cord. The wide choice of shades including sand and terracotta, blue and gray lend the collection a universal character making the chairs an ideal choice for a variety of settings. And should greater contrast be desired more dynamism can be produced by choosing a cushion in a contrasting color.

Despite not only being elegant, but also comfortable and practical, there is nothing flamboyant about "Panarea". Rather the lightness of its material and design conveys a upbeat and relaxed mood. CMP Design was not looking for a complicated concept for the collection; rather they wanted an enduring design that would work on an everyday basis. "Designers might be capable of creating highly sophisticated, well-structured works of art but nobody knows better than they do that this is not an important achievement," they say.

Panarea by CMP Design