Designed by Lievore Altherr Molina in 2001, this year the Catifa collection expands and welcomes the new Catifa Carta version that will be officially presented on 16 May in the Arper showroom in New York

By partnering with a company at the forefront of sustainable innovation, Arper is the first manufacturer in the design industry to use PaperShell for an everyday product. An unprecedented innovation, PaperShell drastically reduces the impact of Catifa Carta on the environment by doing what trees do: sequestering carbon dioxide.

Overseas presentation

A new, innovative, and above all revolutionary object like Catifa Carta not only has to be told, it has to be looked at and touched to be fully understood. This is why Arper chose the days of the NYCxDESIGN Festival (16-23 May 2024) to launch Catifa Carta in the US market. The occasion of the presentation is the opening of the Festival and the venue the New York showroom of Arper, located on the second floor of a historic building from the early 20th century overlooking Broadway. The interior of the space, designed by architect Solveig Fernlund, is minimalist, characterised by large windows that allow a glimpse of the imposing columns that decorate the building's façade.

A journey towards sustainable design

Austere and sensual at the same time, the new version of the Catifa chair retains its original enveloping silhouette to offer the possibility of sustainable comfort thanks to the shell made of PaperShell, a material resulting from advanced scientific research. In detail, where does Catifa's new shell come from? Scraps and wood derivatives are collected, shredded and transformed into paper pulp, which is used to make kraft paper. This is then impregnated with a 100% biogenic hemicellulose-based binder from agricultural waste streams or from pulp and paper production.

The life cycle continues beyond the life of the seat

The layers of impregnated paper are then pressed and cut to obtain the shell, which can be combined with a selection of support bases. The life cycle continues, however, beyond the life of the chair: thanks to the use of PaperShell, the shell is transformed into biochar through pyrolysis, a low-oxygen combustion process that prevents the carbon from being released into the atmosphere. Finally, the biochar, mixed with soil, becomes a home for mycelia and microbes from which the natural cycle of life begins again.

Details designed for contemporary interiors

A concrete action on the road to sustainability, which is accompanied by design choices in line with the needs of the moment, not so much to respond to trends as to communicate the importance of choosing furniture capable of lasting over time. Roberto Monti, CEO of Arper, says: "The seat, made of the revolutionary PaperShell material, is a testimony to our constant commitment to environmental responsibility. It is both a point of arrival and a starting point for design and a significant step in our journey towards a more sustainable future. This launch underlines our enduring commitment to leading by example, demonstrating that responsible business practices can truly be synonymous with cutting-edge creativity."

Customisable and disassemblable

Catifa Carta is available with the shell colour coffe, to be combined with different base options: with four steel legs in black, with a steel sled in black and rust, with a black aluminium trestle with and without wheels. The chair can be completed and customised with cushions and removable covers. To further reduce its environmental impact, moreover, Catifa Carta is completely disassemblable and, thanks to the collaboration with PaperShell and Stena, Arper is working to define the most efficient take-back solutions to ensure a responsible end-of-life.

Photos by Salva Lopez and Alberto Sinigaglia