Thonet at Orgatec 2018
Shiny metal everywhere, from hot-galvanised sheet metal on the bottom to semi-transparent metal partition walls made of expanded metal that almost look spherical: the trade fair booth designed by the architectural office PLY Atelier, Hamburg, banks on raw, untreated materials. A sophisticated play of reflections and semi-transparency makes the booth multi-faceted and complex. Daniel Schöning, PLY Atelier, says: “With the Thonet booth we wanted to create a space that highlights atmosphere, not a simulation of real office worlds, so that you take an even closer look at the exhibits. This abstract production provides the furniture with an extraordinary presence and makes all of their qualities visible.”
Another theme at the trade fair booth is the use of former industrial spaces as modern working worlds – catchword “conversion”. The trade fair booth presents strong visual associations with its luxurious industrial look, reminding us that Thonet invented industrial furniture design in the 19th century. In the 1930s, it was again Thonet that discovered the potential of the innovative material tubular steel for industrial furniture manufacturing and realised the designs of the Bauhaus designers Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer, and Mart Stam. Homage is paid to this achievement with two several meter-high tubular steel shelves that provide the classics with a display on their two narrow sides.
In the suggestive loft atmosphere of the Orgatec trade fair booth Thonet demonstrates what the company, with its almost 200 year-long tradition, is especially good at: creating interior design landscapes that are functional and intelligently designed, and that add culture to any environment. Thonet is history in every product – for 200 years, the company has been creating durable products of lasting value with the potential to become classics.