Perfect rational design: Alfredo Häberli’s Spaghetti Chair makeover
The Spaghetti Chair is back. The iconic design by Italian architect Giandomenico Belotti has received a celebratory makeover courtesy of designer Alfredo Häberli, who has revised the concept and developed seven variations on its theme.
The chair marked the birth of Italian company Alias, which manufactured Belotti’s design as its inaugural product in 1979 (it has been producing it ever since). Its curious name is a reference to the structure; the seat and backrest are formed of PVC strips, looped around a spare steel frame. A key example of Italian rationalism – proponents of which sought to reduce design and architecture to a number of standard, simplistic forms – it marked an important conceptual moment and has become a classic of intuitive design.
‘The Spaghetti Chair intrigued me right away,’ says Häberli. ‘So light, graphic and radical, pared down to the minimum, comfortable and smart.’ He cites the chair’s proportions and materials as the inspiration for reworking the design, for this 25th anniversary tribute.
Due to go on an international tour (starting in Bruxelles on 10 September and traveling on to Milan, Prague, Tokyo and Paris), the set’s seven designs play on the Spaghetti Chair’s recognisable structure and proportions. Delivered in black, each piece refreshes the original identity while paying homage to Belotti’s design. There is a high version of the chair, one that doubles into a love seat and a bench-like iteration that encourages a new perspective on the standard model. A Macintosh-like chair has a disproportionately high back, while another is enhanced by a small cup-holder. Each of Häberli’s interpretations is infused with the designer’s humourous touch while staying faithful to the original – a fantastic birthday present for an iconic design that is 25 years young.