Could athletic footwear inspire furniture design? It did for Benjamin Hubert of the London, England-based experience design agency, Layer. Hubert likes to look at existing materials and technology and consider how they can be re-imagined and used in unique, new ways.
For his three-piece Cradle collection, which includes high-back and low-back chairs and a room divider, Hubert drew inspiration from mesh materials and construction technology found in Nike-brand footwear.
The chairs combine a structured net hammock backrest with a conventional upholstered lounge seat and metal frame. The three-dimensional knitted stretch textile used in the backrest has varying density, which offers structure and strength but also visual lightness and transparency. The technology reduces the amount of material used while increasing comfort—similar to the Flyknit technology found in the upper of Nike footwear.
The mesh used in the collection consists of Trevira CS for support and polypropylene for elasticity, designed by Layer and an Austrian textile factory. The chairs have soft, cushioning foam seats that absorb impact and support weight, much like the soles of footwear that utilize cushioning foam to absorb the impact of running.
The room divider is a simple screen created using the same stretch knitted material as the seating. For more, visit www.layerdesign.com.