Ortal Sachs designs a surprisingly comfortable stone chair

Chairs come in many unique designs, yet somehow young and seasoned designers continue to defy the logic of form, design and (in this case) material to create beautiful furniture. Ortal Sachs, a young industrial designer has developed and designed what appears to be a stone chair as part of her final project in industrial design studies at Ariel University.

The Marbella Chair, which began as a material study, evolved into experiential research. It plays with different mediums to create a deceptive and unexpected experience that asks: What happens when you come across materials that behave differently from what we expect?

The Marbella Chair

There were two guidelines for her stone chair project: One was the desire to undertake material research on unfamiliar mediums with unknown properties; The second was to create a rigid language by the use of soft materials, emphasizing the difference between what can be seen and what can be felt. 

Ortal, in essence, desired to break the conventions on what a typical chair looks like. At first glance, the Marbella Chair is a stiff piece of rock or concrete but the reality unfolds when you sit on it — it’s soft and really comfortable. After in-depth research, Ortal developed a silicone-based material that simulates the idea of stone or concrete, but with softness and flexibility. The design itself is also inspired by the shape and form of stones and rocks, transmitting the notion of stiffness to these materials.

The chair gives the appearance of stone or concrete

Ultimately, I think the Marbella Chair strikes a necessary balance between the desire for ultra-modern furniture and comfort to identify what can be done to keep designs interesting without being too cold. It beautifully evokes what can be achieved with modern technological advancements. And it also clarifies the difference between what we see is not necessarily what it actually is. Your thoughts?