by STIRworldMay 18, 2022
At first glance, the Loopy Chair looks like a steel bike rack, but look closely and see it transform into a one-of-a-kind chair. New York City-based artist and designer, Nikolas Gregory Bentel, has unveiled a bright yellow chair made using a single band of tubular steel. Aptly titled the Loopy Chair, this experimental furniture piece has been constructed using the same manufacturing processes as that of conventional tubular bike racks. This chair features an unorthodox shape and has been fabricated using a tube with a three-inch diameter bent in a hydraulic tube bender. “By repurposing a manufacturing process already in place, the Loopy Chair allows for novel chair construction using the common formal language of the bike rack, while also not having to create excess equipment for the manufacturing process,” mentions Bentel.
The Loopy Chair exhibits a vibrant and minimal design aesthetic and functions both as a chair and a home decor element. Even though the chair displays an unconventional form, it is still functional. Once in use, the Loopy Chair functions as a quirky chair. When not in use, it serves as a colourful decor piece. This unique chair is not meant to be comfortable in the traditional sense. Its goal is to question the concept of what a chair should look like and encourage people to sit in new ways. Presently, Bentel has released a limited edition of 10 pieces of the Loopy Chair, which come with or without a tan hued, suede leather seat sling. Additionally, as the Loopy Chair is made of steel, it can be placed indoors or outdoors, and can withstand different weather conditions.
The chair is made of one steel tube that forms a single, continuous frame. This frame, which is reminiscent of a bike rack, creates two loops in opposite directions. One loop functions as the chair’s seat and the other as the chair’s backrest. As the chair is just a frame without any upholstery or cushioning, it allows people to sit on it in various ways and have some fun.
Furthermore, as the Loopy Chair is constructed using the same manufacturing processes as that of a bike rack, its form is restricted. “During the design process, I was limited by the kind of bend radiuses that a bike rack typically has. The chair had to be designed using only two different radiuses—one radius at nine inches and the other at 18 inches. This kind of restriction led the design being a marriage of manufacturability and usability,” adds Bentel.
Artist Bentel’s aim is to reinterpret everyday objects in a humorous and intriguing manner by using already existing production technology. Previously, the designer has reshaped chalk to create architectural drawing toys for children and has also tried to pass off his naked body as a furniture collection.
With the Loopy Chair, Bentel hopes to motivate people to use already existing manufacturing technology to come up new and imaginative products. “By reimagining how we make things, we can create original designs that have yet to be seen such as the Loopy Chair. There is untapped potential in manufacturing processes everywhere. The goal is to one day apply this design method to create other usable objects, from chairs and tables to larger pieces of furniture including sofas and beds. This idea of rethinking manufacturing is found in my other furniture pieces as well,” concludes Bentel.
The Loopy Chair is priced at $1,250 and the seat sling costs an additional $250. They are available for sale on Nikolas Bentel’s website