August 1, 2006
An award-winning chair by Harri Koskinen makes its American debut.
Finnish textile artist Ritva Puotila’s company, Woodnotes, is best known for its innovative paper-yarn material, which exploits its country’s sprawling forests. When she decided to branch out into furniture in 2003, the manufacturer turned to another homegrown resource: wunderkind Harri Koskinen, who had designed everything from watches to storage containers and stereo equipment. “They had some well-done cubic pieces,” he recalls, referring to the company’s blocky stools and benches. “But they really were known for their carpets.” The marriage proved auspicious, with the resulting K Chair winning an interior innovation award at the Cologne furniture fair in 2004. Clad in Woodnotes’ distinctive upholstery, the seat is substantial enough for deep lounging yet can be broken down easily for shipping. Here Koskinen discusses the finer points of his K Chair, which made its U.S. debut at this year’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair, where Woodnotes won an editors’ award for its novel approach to materials.
K comes from the shape of the chair in profile.
The stain-treated upholstery covers—made of 70 percent paper yarn and 30 percent cotton—can be changed to adapt to different decors. The chair is available in six colors.
Layers of fabric and foam form the chair’s complex inner structure, which helps keep the shape and softness.
The frame is made of tubular steel, for a light and rigid construction. The visible parts have a matte chrome finish.
The chair can be disassembled into three parts—the base and two cushions—and packed for shipping by removing the four barely noticeable screws that hold it together.