Alberto Meda (born 1945)
Designed c. 1987
Carbon fiber, Nomex composite honeycomb
29¼ x 21¾ x 19½ inches
(74.3 x 55.2 x 49.5 cm)
Produced by Alias S.p.A., Bergamo, Italy
Image: © 2012 Phillips. All Rights Reserved.
Since Gio Ponti’s Superleggera (Superlight) side chair of 1955, designers have pursued the goal of creating furniture that is lightweight and easy to carry. This was a reaction to the size and overwhelming heaviness of traditional furniture, with its springs and upholstery, that required an effort to move. Alberto Meda has spent a lifetime pursuing experiments in new technologies, beginning in the 1970s as technical director at the Milan-based plastic furniture manufacturer Kartel. Meda has many innovative designs to his credit, but this chair for Alias remains his most famous work. Weighing only four pounds, LightLight conveys its lightness both physically and visually. The strength of this elegant, delicate-looking design was achieved by using carbon fiber composites. Although it was intended for mass production, this remarkable achievement was difficult to manufacture, and only a limited number were produced.