LEHNI SWISS MADE IN COLLABORATION WITH QWSTION
Lounge Chair Ensō – Designed For Circularity
Made from recycled aluminium and biodegradable Bananatex®
The expertise of heritage intersects with a progressive vision of environmentally-responsible craft in Ensō, a new Lounge Chair created in collaboration between Lehni Swiss Made and QWSTION
At first sight, the crafts of metal work and textile development may not seem the most obvious of pairings. But in the hands of two companies united by a commitment to longevity, tempered with a love for precision and minimalism, the two materials make for a naturally harmonious match. Here’s how the Ensō Lounge Chair, designed by Frédéric Dedelley and Christian Kägi in a collaboration between Lehni Swiss Made and QWSTION, came to be.
1922, Zurich, Switzerland. Rudolf Lehni Senior establishes a sheet metal enterprise in close proximity to Zurich’s artistic precinct – both literally and figuratively. Right from the early days, Lehni Swiss Made becomes a favoured manufacturing partner of local creative protagonists, producing the architect Max Bill’s “Wave Relief” sculpture on commission in 1934.
It’s just over three decades later, at the Expo 1964 fair in Lausanne, that Lehni, now headed by Rudolf Lehni Junior, finds its groove as a specialist furniture maker. The company’s aluminium shelf exhibited there has since become something of a design icon. In the ’80s, its form and function catches the attention of none other than the doyen of Minimalism, Donald Judd – leading him to visit the company’s production HQ in the Swiss town of Dübendorf and sparking a 16-piece collaboration which leads Lehni to become the exclusive producer of Judd’s metal furniture line.
Though known for its singular approach and dedication to precision, Lehni remains open to considered evolution – as evidenced by the invitation to collaborate that we received from them via our mutual friend, the designer Frédéric Dedelley. This rare carte blanche led to the creation of a chair – uncharted territory for QWSTION.
Working closely together with Frédéric Dedelley, QWSTION Co-founder and Creative Director Christian Kägi took regeneration as a point of departure – and eventual arrival. The resulting Ensō Lounge Chair, taking its name from the Japanese term for “circle”, is free of extraneity, composed solely of two core elements that enable full functionality in both indoor and outdoor contexts.
A smoothly curved frame of premium recycled aluminium was refined for optimal look and feel thanks to Lehni’s expert craftsmanship, and paired with a seat made from the sturdy yet supple Bananatex®, whose organically grown fibres are 100% biodegradable. The aluminium, too, can eventually be returned to the metal recycling systems from where it originated; embodying minimalism in its purest expression.