Trust me on this one: There’s no chair in the world quite like designer Lara Bohinc’s Solar chair. Most chairs are forgettable, half-baked, or brazenly borrow ideas from somewhere else. But when Slovenia-born Bohinc—who studied metalwork and jewelry at London’s Royal College of Art and served as a senior design consultant for Cartier before launching her own practice in 2016—announced she’d decided to dip her toe into the perilous waters of the sacred seat, I could hardly wait to see the results when they debuted at Salone del Mobile in April. That’s because Bohinc offered not just another chair, but one that’s actually worth talking about. It manages to be at once geometric and feminine, familiar yet otherworldly, noodle-like yet made of steel—in short, it’s unlike anything I’d ever seen.
The seat’s square, galvanized steel rod frame is cut by hand and by laser, then welded, hand-polished, and painted at Bohinc’s workshop in Italy. From the side, Solar looks like a human being, lounging with her legs casually folded in front of and beneath her. Her marshmallow-y head and torso, upholstered in wool Kvadrat fabric, anchor her slim figure, which appears as if it would otherwise float away. In fact, the chair (along with its siblings, Lunar and Orbit, all manufactured in collaboration with London gallery Matter of Stuff) speaks to Bohinc’s fascination with planets and lunar orbits; she likes their spherical shape and graceful movement. In this view, Solar’s twin cushions recall a rising and setting sun, and the frame snippets of the curved path of the moon. Succumb to its gravitational pull.