June 5, 2020
Cappellini’s New Lud’o Chair Is A Sustainable Spin on Timeless Italia
How a collaboration with Milanese designer Patricia Urquiola is putting an unconventional spin on the traditional armchair.
A wool winter coat, an avant-garde lifejacket, the feeling of being immersed in nature—these were the unlikely inspirations behind the “Lud’o” lounge chair, the newest release from Italian design house Cappellini. A collaboration with designer Patricia Urquiola, a longtime friend and colleague of Giulio Cappellini, the playful three-sectioned chair was intended for launch at this year’s Salone del Mobile in Milan, but postponed due to the ongoing Coronavirus epidemic.
Despite this delay, or perhaps because of it, there is already a significant buzz around the release of the sleekly structured and highly durable armchair, which earns high marks for sustainability, featuring a seat made entirely from recycled plastics and eco-friendly materials. “Durability has to be thought of from the beginning,” said Urquiola from her studio in Milan, admitting that comfort was also paramount to the Lud’o’s conception. “The idea was for the chair to give extreme comfort and softness, a feeling of warmth,” she said, noting that it should make the user feel like they’re slipping into their favorite outerwear, rather than nesting on a stiff, traditional armchair.
Part of what makes the Lud’o so appealing is its versatility. The upholstery, which comes in a range of primary hues, can be removed or swapped for several alternate fabrics, including repurposed nylon, “Oceanic/Camira,” created entirely from recycled plastic and marine debris, “Dedar Artemidor,” a soft wool reminiscent of Alpaca or sheepskin, and woven from cotton into a delicate bouclé, and “Dedar Karakorum,” a bouclé wool and viscose fabric inspired by astrakhan fur. Additional optional design touches include corduroy and genuine leather. “It was essential that the consumer be able to change or modify,” said Urquiola, suggesting that the idea of a chair that could live multiple lives was necessary, and that re-usable or transformable furniture “be part of our sustainable pact.”
The Lud’o’s interior padding is made up of a layer of resinated, calendered, and thermo-bonded technofill material derived from recycled raw materials and natural fibers, the most interesting of which is vegetable wool, the world’s lightest natural fiber. Growing spontaneously in nature, the raw materials are extracted by hand from locally sourced pods and plants. The chair will initially be offered with two base options, a conical metal base with a swivel mechanism, or a simple wood cross base. A third option, four wooden legs, will be released sometime next year.
In an era when we will come to rely more and more on the graciousness and comforts of a well-designed home, the Ludo chair provides something of an ideal option for relaxation and ongoing decor refreshes—ensuring a sense of comfort and the ability to transform any space.