The Ray Chair’s name is derived from the shape of its structure, which evokes rays of light opening up. The story of the Ray Chair connects nature, technology and design history. Concepts from nature have influenced the materials; the burdock is a seed with hooks that attach themselves to the fur of passing animals to become widely dispersed (offering inspiration for the invention of VelcroTM).
A similar approach to adhesion is reflected by the recycled metal gripper material which is the chair’s key structural and aesthetic component. This product, known as NRX™, was originally developed for use in the auto industry with subsequent applications in aerospace, mining, marine and other industries. Its lightweight laminated construction creates a strong, adhesive-free bond with other recycled materials. No glue or other toxic agents are required to construct the chair.
In the history of furniture design, the Barcelona Chair is recognized as a 1929 classic by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. It was considered to be a precious object which depended upon precision engineering and required the highest level of craftsmanship to weld the joints, polish the stainless steel and upholster it with premium Italian leather.
By contrast, this new chair demonstrates that something comparably beautiful, strong and simple can be created for the 21st century from recycled compressed paper and recycled metal. NRX™ can be manufactured by license on common equipment. Minimal tooling maintenance is required to ensure consistent hook application and production rate.