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Smart Wood by Philippe Starck

Best of 2021
The Kartell Smart Wood Collection was born from a love for design, for those distinguishing features unique to every object, but above all it comes from a continuous search for the new and the innovative. The creative concept developed by Philippe Starck began with the choice of a material, and that material was wood - the noblest and the oldest, transformed by Kartell into an industrial product.Using patented technology, the wood is worked with a mold designed to bring the curvature of the panel to the very edges, creating a seat with sinuous roundness, combining the beauty of the wood and its ability to connect to nature with extraordinarily ergonomic lines. For the first time ever, Kartell has managed to bring three-dimensionality to a product that until now has been two-dimensional, in which even the side sections create welcoming, embracing curves, to ensure maximum comfort. The collection features pieces of furniture that mark a new chapter in the history of the brand, becoming part of the wider “Kartell loves the planet” project, aimed at enhancing good practice for sustainability throughout the production process and in the use of the raw material with low environmental impact. “After years of research we have come to approach wood with a lot of respect for the nobility of the material, but at the same time we have married it, where technology has permitted, in order to uphold the industrial characteristics inherent in our brand’s DNA”, states Kartell President Claudio Luti. “With the Smart wood collection, we have moved the paradigm, it is no longer a question of using wooden elements to build the structure, but the wood itself curves and becomes a three-dimensional seat. We were thus able to fully express the true essence of wood by blending industrial production, beauty, strength, comfort and flexibility into a single product”. For this season, the Smart wood collection comprises the regal K/wood armchair, also available with leatherupholstered seat, plus matching S/Wood footrest with the same finishes, and the Q/wood (with black or white plastic seat) and P/wood chairs, which feature unique woodworking that combines timeless elegance with contemporary shapes. Available in basic veneer or light or dark stave oak, with frame in chrome plated or painted steel. “Since always, Kartell has been using human intelligence to transform raw material into magical furniture, states Philippe Starck. Now, Kartell is using the same talent to transform the slightest bit of wood dust, the smallest film of wood, the humblest wood residue, into furniture. Elegantly timeless. The great Ray and Charles Eames proved the modernity of the intelligence of plywood; more than 50 years later, technological progress has allowed us to offer even more with even less. That’s the Smart Wood collection.”


Kartell has obtained FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification for the Smart Wood collection. The FSC® mark identifies products made with wood sourced from forest managed in a responsible fashion, in line with rigorous environmental, social and economic criteria. The forests are controlled and assessed independently in conformity with the standards (principles and criteria of best practice forest management) established and approved by the Forest Stewardship Council® a.c. with the participation and consent of all stakeholders.The wood comes entirely from FSC certified forests, thus guaranteeing the origin and correct exploitation of forest resources. Consumers are fully guaranteed about the origin of the materials purchased. The FSC contribution is mainly aimed at promoting sustainable management of all types of forests, combating deforestation, restoring damaged forests and significantly increasing reforestation andthe growth of woods everywhere.


Starting from $710 goes up to $2755


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70 Years of ongoing research and exchange with the great designers, with the aim of pursuing beauty and absolute quality.

70 years of market success, of cooperation and partnerships, of events and projects destined for sale and communication.

Today, Kartell is the perfect synthesis of its past and its ongoing projection into the future, combining the great heritage of corporate culture with the desire to explore new paths and engage in new experiences dominated by an intense passion for creation.

Founded by Giulio Castelli in 1949, in the early years Kartell took its first steps to produce the distinctive design that would come to epitomise the 'Made in Italy’ label. In 1988 the company was acquired by Claudio Luti, the son-in-law of Giulio and Anna Castelli who had a background in fashion. The sensibility that Luti had developed under the Versace fashion house, with a love for perfection and tasteful design, heralded a new start for the brand. Luti sought collaborations with designers and architects like Philippe Starck, Ron Arad, Antonio Citterio, Ferruccio Laviani, Piero Lissoni, Patricia Urquiola, Mario Bellini, Alberto Meda and Vico Magistretti, who were responsible for those products that soon came to symbolise the brand. The fresh approach to materials dictated the new direction and brought real turning points for Kartell: studying, manipulating and enriching materials resulted in an end product which offered unprecedented characteristics. The turning point came when, after years of research and thanks to a revolutionary innovation, in 1999 Kartell became the first company in the world to use polycarbonate to produce furnishing items. The result was La Marie, a completely transparent chair with modern, minimalist design which paved the way for Louis Ghost, still one of Kartell’s best sellers today. From this moment on, the company developed and explored the theme of transparency that has made it unique and original, continuing its research into the study of surfaces and shapes, starting with the use of new technologies and high-performance materials that have made it possible to create products like nothing ever created before. Alongside the habitat division, Kartell relaunched its lighting division, writing a new chapter in the history of lighting design. Kartell today is a company that looks to the future, with Claudio Luti sharing the helm with his children Lorenza and Federico, who joined the firm from different professional backgrounds following their university studies. Today Lorenza is Marketing and Retail Director and Federico Commercial Director. The company has expanded its horizons with new divisions and new product families, introducing new lines ranging from the soft line to another specifically designed for outdoors, as it continues to move with the times and evolve, also employing non-plastic materials and experimenting with new technologies.

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