A successful design from 2001, Arper's Catifa 53 chair has been reinterpreted this year with the use of a new material derived from wood waste

Conceived by the architecture and design collective Lievore Altherr Molina in 2001 and the first Arper product to obtain environmental certification, the Catifa 53 chair in 2024 is offered in the new Catifa Carta version based on a major transformation of materials.

The evolution of a design classic

The delicate, enveloping silhouette that has characterised the Catifa chair since its origins remains intact, a favourite product of its designers who describe it as follows: "Catifa - in Catalan, carpet - encapsulates, in a single word, maximum comfort with minimum gesture. We feel a particular fondness for this project because it harmoniously brings together the values that interest us. It is a design of synthesis where formal austerity is achieved through the reduction of the superfluous, but without renouncing sensuality. Considered today a design classic and part of a now extended family, in continuous development, it has the ability to easily adapt to the most diverse environments, without renouncing its own identity." The new Catifa Carta version, however, not only succeeds in inhabiting the spaces of the present, it now looks to the future.

The result of advanced scientific research

Catifa Carta stands out for its shell made of Papershell, a revolutionary material derived from wood waste that provides the necessary strength and comfort, but above all sets a new standard for sustainable design. Roberto Monti, Arper's CEO, presents the new chair as follows: "We are thrilled to unveil our latest innovation, Catifa Carta, a reinterpretation of our iconic Catifa 53, a testament to our ongoing 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. For us, collaborating with partners like Papershell and cultivating innovative developments is crucial to offering relevant solutions in today's ever-changing landscape. By introducing pioneering materials and conscious practices we wish to inspire change and become an example of responsible business."

With Catifa Carta, rooms breathe

This is a decisive milestone for Arper in 2024: it is, in fact, the first manufacturer in the design sector to use Papershell for an everyday product. To really understand the value of an innovation like this, one has to make a little effort of imagination and think of every single Catifa Carta chair as if it were a living plant organism: its function, in fact, is to drastically reduce the impact on the environment just as trees do, i.e. by absorbing carbon dioxide. At the end of its life cycle, the material can be reduced to biochar, vegetable charcoal that has the ability to retain the CO2 sequestered during previous life phases.

A transformative chair

Capable of resolving contract as well as domestic settings, Catifa Carta is available in two colours and three options for the base, as well as being completely disassemblable. The shell is available in coffee and graphite, while the support structure can be chosen with four black steel legs, a black or rust steel sled, or a black aluminium trestle with and without castors. Removable cushions and covers add colour and comfort where required. Catifa Carta was exhibited at the recent Salone del Mobile in Milan at the Arper stand, where it was possible to try it out and touch it.

Photo: Salva Lopez