When it comes to contemporary furniture design, the Chubby Collection by French designer Arthur Vallin, takes up its own space. And you only have to take one glance at the chimeric design to know what I’m talking about (or is it the name of the collection that gives it away?).
Vallin’s design philosophy is to really understand the capabilities of the manufacturing process and the physical characteristics and constraints of a specific material. The process is almost as in important as the outcome, and his dedication to experimenting on the manufacturing level is ultimately what leads to such innovative and imaginative shapes.
The Chubby Collection is made up of limited edition furniture consisting of a stool, chair, console and dining table. Excluding the necessary flat surfaces of the table and console, the collection does not feature any hard-edges, 90 degree angles or horizontal planes. Instead, an exaggerated roundness and bulbous curvature are the hallmarks of the design, making the Chubby Collection really stand out from other contemporary furniture designs.
What Vallin does so successfully with the Chubby Collection is that he creates the illusion that stone is bendable. He defies our preconceptions of how stone should look and feel by contradicting the cold and hard-edged quality of stone. Vallin questions the material’s very nature and imbues it with a sense of airiness and ease that does not come naturally. Even though each piece is made of solid stone they seem filled with air (the stool almost looks like a balloon folded in half).
The exaggerated volumetric stylisation of Vallin’s designs represents the extremes to which a specific material can be manipulated and shaped. I am looking forward to seeing how else the Frenchman can bring furniture design to the extremes.