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Armchair Spun, design Thomas Heatherwick 2010, Magis.


| Designbest editorial staff


pun, the rotating chair, one of the most iconic pieces by Magis, turns 10. One of the most original pieces of contemporary design, the oversized top free to oscillate and carry you with it (legs in the air), is truly a unique event in the history of seating.

It is a disorienting object whose function is unclear on first glance, with the shape of a spool and a pointed base like in old wooden tops. In reality, Spun includes all the usual elements of a seat. If we were to take it apart, we would have the seat, backrest, armrests and legs. But in all honestly, the last thing that comes to mind when you see it is sitting down in its funnel. And yet, thousands have done it, finding themselves at once with their backs heading towards a fall, their legs in the air and their usual prospective of the world shaken. There is just enough time to hold on to edges and bring everything back to normal, only to go for another spin until we put our feet back on the ground and, once relaxed, lean back in this comfortable bowl. We cannot remember another chair capable of unleashing a moment of real panic and immediately after a moment of infantile joy and hilarity.

Thomas Heatherwick, the English designer with a studio in London’s Kings Cross where 250 problem solvers work, smiles when he tells the story of Spun by Magis and admits to never having imagined that people could enjoy themselves so much with this chair.
From the initial idea of exploring the processes of rotating metal in order to create a chair and later to the meticulous experiments on geometries and ergonomics of a rotational form, the studio created a prototype in aluminum which came out to be surprisingly comfortable in its oscillating motion. After a limited run of a metal chair, Heatherwick started the collaboration with Magis to develop the definitive industrial version in a polyethylene rotational mold. In any case, the result is a fascinating sculptural object that wins over both the design-addicted and design experts, who awarded it the Compasso d’Oro for having introduced a new way of sitting and understanding seating.

Happy birthday, Spun! 


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