'Naked Collection' by Gala Wright & Magnus Long

It started with a visit to new suppliers... [G]
... and the idea of using perforated metal rather than expanded metal. [M]

The brief was an efficient indoor/outdoor contract chair that would have freshness in its design but (that was) also very specifiable, obviously using rod. The materials led the brief. [G]

I suppose that was the important bit – the manufacturers. We wrote the brief around the manufacturers combined with a project that we wanted to work on together. [M]

And also (we wrote the brief around) the possibility of expanding it into a range beyond just a single chair. The materials and the production methods allowed us to imagine that: a family of products rather than just a chair. [G]

I can’t remember at which point the idea (the theme of) ‘Naked’ came in – if that came before or after. We had this idea that you could dress/add parts or various different options to the chair and somehow that was like clothing it. [M]

You’re starting with a skeleton, which is a functional and aesthetically good thing to look at but then you can change the appearance to be more suitable to different environments. [G]

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The translucency came from an earlier project that we were working on. We liked this idea of transparency and gradation, which came about from working with a company who were able to perforate sheet metal. All of the manufacturers are quite basic in some ways but we wanted to create something that was complex. Not overly complex for the sake of being complex, but to push the limits of those manufacturers to create something that is identifiable and, I think really importantly, really comfortable. We spent a lot of time working on the ergonomics of the design and now we’ve got something that is incredibly comfortable to sit on and, with the extra components that you can add to it, really versatile. [M]

Versatility was key. [G]

Gala and I worked on this project together because... [M]
... We have a similar aesthetic. [G]

We enjoy working together is the truth. Although we work on our own projects, we both wanted to continue working on together. [M]

Why gradated perforations? Why not flat perforations? [M]

Because it adds value to the chair. A perforated sheet with the same size holes has associations with municipal furniture or cheaply produced furniture. [G]

When we went to see the manufacturer we saw that they had this capability: they could punch different holes all in the same batch, which was quite exciting for us. [M]

We could immediately see the advantages (of using that in) creating a kind of subtle pattern that isn’t necessarily immediately obvious. There’s just a sense that it’s not completely uniform. It actually gives shape to a very flat surface as well. [G]

With the perforations in the top, when you look and you see the chairs in a restaurant or in a cafe, there’s that translucency. It means it’s not such a heavy, brutal environment. It’s more broken down and diffused. And we like the way the sun passes through and creates a shadow. [M]

The shadows look great. The shadows of this chair look really good. [G]

And the tables as well! [M]