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Five minutes in Milan - Richard Hutten

We bumped into Richard Hutten at the Prophets & Penitents exhibition organised by DAMn magazine, where we spoke about chairs and his allergy to design. 

By Jeanne Tan / 22-04-2009

Chairs, chairs and more chairs

So what's happening this year for you in Milan?
This year we're going to have a lot of fun, meeting my friends, having a good time, drinking nice wine, enjoying the atmosphere...

And what about the work?
Oh the work is just a by product! In milan the work is already finished, so I don't have to work about work anymore because it's all here.

What are you showing?
Well, the chair prototype here (Prophets & Penitents). It's the protoype of THIS chair, actually it's a test model from 2004/2005, so before the prototype. It was commissioned by Hans Lensvelt who wanted a chair with a wooden shell and metal frame. For me, the best example of this type of chair is Arne Jacobsen's butterfly chair, and we wanted to add something to it. We talked about this chair this, this chair that so in the end, we named it THIS chair. This is the test model to check the comfort.

And you've got something for Gallery Plusdesign..
Yes, the Air Spheres, a chair made from rubber coated foam. It's lightweight, it's about using less materials. We're running out of raw materials on this planet. So why not use air to make things! So I created the Air Spheres bench.

And also something for Gallery Ormond in Switzerland?
Yes, the Cloud chair a sculptural piece.

What about the parties?
Well, I'll go to the parties where my stuff is presented of course, and then I just follow my friends.

Do you think will Milan be different this year?
This year, it will be less crowded for sure. I heard many people would skip it this year. It was madhouse last year so if its 10% less, then it would be better. All this bullshit about all these chairs. I'm allergic to design so less chairs the better.

Allergic to design?
Yes, that's very much a handicap being a designer.

What are the symptoms?
I get red spots on my face, I feel a bit sick....

So how do you work as a designer then?
Well that can be quite tough. If i go to the fair, then I see too much stuff which is useless. Of course if you look well enough you'll see beautiful pieces, but most things don't add anything to the existing. I like the cultural aspect of design which I feel is missing in many designs...

Main image: Prophets & Penitents, organised by DAMn magazine
Image: This Chair, Richard Hutten for Lensvelt, 2004

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