The new and innovative chair will be unveiled during Tom Dixon Studio’s ‘24 hours in Milan’ digital event Tuesday, April 13. Made of recyclable aluminium, the HYDRO Chair is designed for longevity, multiuse and importantly, easy recycling; designed in 100% aluminium and with few components, it is easy to take apart when sometime in the future it will reach the end of its life as a chair.
Tom Dixon is known for his love of metals and chose aluminium due to its suitable qualities for a light and robust chair designed with sustainability in mind.
“I have always been obsessed with materials and aluminium in particular. It’s a metal I find incredibly interesting with its endless opportunities in terms of shapes and surface qualities. Being able to work with the top aluminium and material experts in the industry was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse,” says Tom Dixon, Founder and Creative Director of Tom Dixon Studio.
Aluminium is one of the few materials that can be recycled endlessly without losing its properties and is therefore an ideal material for a circular economy, getting more for less.
“The future needs circular materials and we need to design products that live longer, can be recycled or reused. Understanding material properties and manufacturing processes will help create more sustainable products designed with recycling or reuse in mind, and that is why we believe it is important for designers and manufacturers to collaborate,” says Hilde Kallevig, Head of Brand and Marketing in Hydro.
Inspired by automotive production
When Hydro’s technical experts and the Dixon team first met in late 2018, the design challenge was to shape a metal chair seat in one singular piece. This is not an easy task and required extensive research into various technologies, and production had to balance cost, design, practicality and technical feasibility.
With experts from Hydro and the Dixon team working closely together exchanging ideas, they were able to push technology forward:
- An innovation in aluminium technology, The HYDRO Chair is produced by using superplastic forming of aluminium alloys that were originally developed for the automotive industry. The ballooned pattern has been achieved by blow-forming the metal (superplastic forming) at high temperatures and then laser cut by robots.
- These methods were developed in the automotive industries to make deep and complex forms that only a few years ago were impossible to achieve.
- The aluminium can be stretched to several times its original size without failure when heated.
- By tapping into Hydro’s aluminium expertise and using the 5000 series of specially developed superplastic alloys, the chair is lightweight but robust and made to last, also outdoors.
A limited first edition of the chair will be sold exclusively on Tom Dixon’s online store, from Tom Dixon hubs around the world and selected international partners from April 13. The price is £2,021 each.
- Tom Dixon is a British designer based in London, with branches in New York, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles and Tokyo. Tom Dixon Studio specializes in interior design products, especially in metals, including furniture, lighting and accessories.
- The collaboration between Hydro and Tom Dixon started in late 2018, with the aim to design and produce a 100% recyclable chair. The result is useable indoors and out, with its extreme lightness and stackability making it a highly practical chair with many uses.
- The chair has been manufactured and shaped by Verbom, a leader in sheet metal processing, offering design and fabrication sheet metal tooling services, and production services.
- Hydro produces more than 70% of its aluminium using renewable energy sources, making it among the greenest aluminium in the world. 75% of the aluminium ever produced is still in use, but increased recycling of aluminium so it can go back into the loop is key to enable a circular economy.
- The chair will be unveiled during Tom Dixon Studio’s digital ‘24 hours’ in Milan event Tuesday, April 13, the day that should have been the first day of the world’s annual leading design week, Salone Del Mobile. This has now been postponed until September due to the current situation.
- Tune in Tom Dixon Studio x Wallpaper* Magazine store discussion dedicated to the HYDRO Chair on Instagram live, Tuesday April 13 at 13:00 CEST. Follow @tomdixonstudio to receive a notification when the live event starts.