Among the more trailblazing booths at this year’s Salone del Mobile design and furniture fair was that of the Spanish outdoor furniture brand Kettal. In addition to new collections by Patricia Urquiola (a wicker seating line inspired by Nanna and Jørgen Ditzel’s Basket chair), Rodolfo Dordoni (a lounge chair), and Michel Charlot (a textile lampshade), the company introduced two new breakthrough products that reposition it in the realm of what Berlin-based designer Konstantin Grcic describes as “micro-architecture.” Grcic designed Kettal’s new Meteo parasol—his first product for the brand, and the start of an ongoing collaboration—in his signature pared-down way, with deep consideration for expanding the concept into a diversified line in the future. “Refining the details is the start of the project,” he says of Meteo’s debut. “In the next few years, we’ll develop larger systems, cantilever systems, [and] systems that work on a completely different mechanical principle.” Currently available in two versions—a “basic” model with a manual pulley and a “high-end” model with an integrated gas piston for opening and closing—the parasols can be outfitted in alternate base plates of sheet metal or cast iron.
Smartly, the company is looking to expand beyond just making furniture, and instead is building out a greater offering: Elsewhere at its booth, Kettal introduced the PH1 series of pavilions and an accompanying kitchen set, both developed by its in-house design team. “I like [the Meteo] because it’s not just furniture,” Grcic says of his contribution. “It’s shelter.”