Shedding light
on uncles and aunts
Kartell’s 15 years of transparency
Mar 27, 2014
Plastic is luxury and glamourous: to underline it Kartell launches classics like “Componibili” with gold and silver shimmer. Photo © Kartell

Whatever else, at least transparent? Of late, there’s been much talk of Big Data, of our no longer having secrets, of the need for transparency in business and politics. But such pressing issues naturally don’t play a role in furniture design. So Kartell is right to be proud to highlight “15 Years of Transparency” as regards its chairs, tables and stools – and celebrate its own products. Yes, the company’s been experimenting that long with injection molding for transparent polycarbonate from which furniture can be forged in a single piece.

It all started in 1999 with Philippe Starck’s “La Marie” chair, which tends to be regarded as the world’s first completely transparent chair. It weighs in at 3.5 kilos and is not only astonishingly light, but also very robust – and radiant in any number of fresh, tender colors.

As regards the present, in 2013 Kartell launched another Starck design, namely his “Uncle Jack” sofa, demonstrating what is indeed possible today. It’s 1.80 meters wide, made from a single piece of material and weighs 28 kilos. And because the transparent version is simply the most beautiful, at the Salone Kartell is now presenting “Uncle Jim”, “Uncle Jo”, “Aunty Maggy” and “Aunty Jamy” alongside “Uncle “Jack” – they’re all members of the “Aunts and Uncles” family – in a definitive transparent version. Light, colorful and translucent, and of course suitable for use both indoors and outdoors.

Kartell really prioritizes using high-grade, superior plastics and not processing some cheap material. Which is why at the trade fair the emphasis is on luxury and glamour and some of the collection’s classics are being presented under the heading of “Precious Kartell” is decidedly enhanced versions. For example, models such as “Componibili”, “Jelly”, “Masters”, “Matelassé”, “Shanghai” and “Dune” have received a quick lick of metallic paint and now shimmer in gold, bronze, silver, gleaming black and copper. Meaning that Kartell would seem to be fully in the metallic trend. (tw)

Hall 20 Stand A15, B14

Salone Internazionale del Mobile
April 8 through 13, 2014
Milan, Trade fair grounds, Rho

Kartell Flagshipstore: “In Tavola”
Presentation of the new line of table accessories by designers Jean-Marie Massaud, Philippe Starck and Patricia Urquiola and by the chef Davide Oldani.
Kartell Flagship Store
Via Turati /Via Carlo Porta 1, Milan
9-12 April 10-20 – Sunday 13 April 11-19
Cocktail: 8 April, 19-21 PM

Kartell goes Bourgie at Museo Kartell, Noviglio
Exhibition of 14 one-of-a-kind pieces of the iconic lamp designed by Kartell’s team of designers.
Visits by appointment, shuttle from Kartell Flagshipstore,
Contact: or call +39 029 001 2269
Saturday 12 – Sunday 13 April

Kartell at LaRinascente
Kartell’s on display at LaRinascente department store
Via S.Radegonda 2 (Duomo)
Level 1 – Design Supermarket – at the Kartell Shop (permanent)
Level 6 – Home & Design department – Kartell by Laufen – a temporary shop

As well part of the „Precious Kartell“ collection: „Masters“ chair by Philippe Starck. Photo © Kartell