STREET FIGHTER LOUNGE CHAIRProfile
by Matteo Agnoletto, AA Part I, Year Out Student
31 July 2016
Architectural Association, London
Is it possible to conceive a design that is not purely created but is derived from transforming an object into a different function? How can an object still maintain its soul but accommodate a new function?
Prototype of Street Fighter Lounge Chair. Image courtesy of Matteo Agnoletto.
Designing the Street Fighter Lounge Chair, these were my questions- elements from the motorbike such as the frame or the tank that could be transformed into a Lounge Chair and objects designed for movement that have the potential to accommodate something stationary. Approaching Ducati with an experimental approach, a manager of the company gave me the desired frame for free at the Ducati Headquarters in Bologna, and after visiting the Ducati museum near their offices, the project began.
Ducati StreetFighter 2008. Image courtesy of ducati.com
The design of a Motorbike
After looking at the design of a motorbike it became clear that each part that makes up the whole is designed for movement; every detail is designed with accurate engineering but also for a certain look and feel.
As stated by Ducati, a bike design must deliver ‘Elegance, Comfort and Passion’, words that can be easily associated with a Lounge Chair. Each object is designed with aerodynamics in mind and a particular fluid aesthetic. It must favour movement and appeal to the public. A motorbike must look fast but also elegant, comfortable for long rides but also deliver passion for die-hard fans. A motorbike is more than just a simple mode of transportation- it is something to be proud of, a symbol of a lifestyle.
This is heavily reflected in the motorbike’s design, especially a Ducati. Founded in Bologna in the Emilia Romagna Region and recently acquired by the Audi group, the factory is famous for the design of its motorbikes, and in particular for its trellis frames that are highly visible in the motorbike. The frame goes beyond being merely structural and becomes an aesthetic statement, similar to an expressed truss on a Renzo Piano building, it shows the high technology of the bike and immediately pops out from the main body of the bike with its red colouration.
Inspired by these design decisions, the Lounge Chair aims to bring these features to the living room of the bike’s followers by actually using the pre-designed pieces and adapting them for a different function.
LC4 Chaise Lounge. Image courtesy of cassina.com
LC4 Chaise Lounge
In 1928 Le Corbusier designed the LC4 Chaise Lounge, a chair inspired by the automotive industry and designed as a “relaxing machine”. The chair aimed to allow the user to float by using the body’s natural curve suspended on a metal frame, becoming a machine for relaxation. Instead of a design inspired by the automotive industry, is it possible to achieve a design that actually introduces the beautiful features and fluid dynamism of the automotive industry and adapts it instead for the home?
Le Corbusier famously said “a house is a machine for living”, where the house was designed following the principles of a machine for a different function. But what if the house was actually designed by adapting the constituent objects of the machine to transform them from something dynamic to something static?
What if we start conceiving the design of the house as something that could move, a dynamic aesthetic using the existing products of this industry and a similar language?
A Change of Function
Render of Street Fighter Lounge Chair. Image courtesy of Image courtesy of Matteo Agnoletto.
When the function of an object changes, how is it possible to maintain its soul, to still remind us of its previous functions? A thin line differentiates one object from another; this line can be separated into two different categories- function and aesthetic. When the function changes, something rather interesting happens- the aesthetic still reminds us of the previous functions but it also acquires a new role or purpose, adapting to the new, while still reminiscent of the past. The frame of a bike and its tank are modified with a few minimal gestures. The frame is enlarged to accommodate the seating but still keeps its form, symmetry and the tanks within, only elevated by a pedestal. By reminding us of the bike, the chair when placed in any living room acts as a symbol of belonging to a brand, to a way of living . Then one can say that the ‘soul’ of an object never dies, it can change its function but somehow through its aesthetic still keeps its identity intact.
Render of Street Fighter Lounge Chair in context. Image courtesy of Image courtesy of Matteo Agnoletto.
For more information:
International Design Awards Bronze Medal
International Design Awards Honourable Mention
Matteo Agnoletto Website