When designers Andrés Reisinger and Júlia Esqué first shared their Hortensia Armchair on social media a few years back, it was just an image. A life-like 3D rendering of a seemingly impossible piece of furniture, the flower petal–adorned chair had the uncanny effect of existing between a dream and reality.
Last month, the Dutch brand Moooi released its physical counterpart: a squat form covered in 30,000 petals (over an elastic cover that wraps around the chair’s steel frame and injection-moulded foam body). The petals, in Petal Pink and Petal Grey, are laser cut from a polyester that resembles silk – at least in photos.
As part of the numerous launches announced remotely over the past few weeks – a timeline overlapping with the Salone del Mobile editions of years past – the limited-edition piece (which also comes in Moooi’s own fabrics, for a less whimsical appeal) was still seen mostly in pictures. When the Milan fair opens in September, Moooi might allow visitors to get much closer to it. (Reisinger also debuted the Ripples carpet collection for Moooi.)
Hortensia is an evolution of Moooi’s embrace of digital processes. The company’s carpets collection features photorealistic images that are digitally printed in bold, saturated hues. The Button, another Moooi innovation, is applied to all its pieces, connecting them to a digital proof of authenticity. In a world of NFT gone wild, Moooi has its finger on the pulse of something. Here’s hoping the real thing is even better than the image.
The Dutch brand brings a digital design into its fold, manufacturing a 3D rendering never thought replicable in real life.