Lancaster Chair by Michael Young – Emeco goes Wood!

Hot from the e-mail a press release that is well worded albeit dated november 2009:-)

I have a soft spot for Emeco that as a long standing family run Chair Manufacturer tries new venues, be it it in advertising ( see Emeco: An Old Chair Manufacturer Goes Nude) or in chair design.

Therefor the integral Press release here:

Emeco Collaborates with Michael Young on Lancaster, a New Collection

Emeco, The Aluminum Chair Company, will present a new furniture collection by British designer Michael Young at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, April 14 – 19 in Milan. The collection of stacking chairs, barstools and tables is Emeco’s first foray into component-based design incorporating cast aluminum seats and backs with carved ash-wood legs. The ash-wood components are made by Emeco’s partner, an Amish factory in nearby Lancaster County PA, providing the collection its name, Lancaster.

“I have worked extensively with the aluminum manufacturing process recently, and with some of the best equipped factories in Asia. I was looking at the ways to join other materials with aluminum over the last few years and thinking about a chair, “explained Mr. Young.

“My work with the bicycle manufacturer, Giant, pushed me away from using standard section metal tubing. The sculptural form of the chair leg could only be made in wood. When I found that Emeco has partnered with a remarkable wood factory, the project gelled. It is an immense privilege to work with the Emeco family, I am sincerely proud in a way I have not felt previously. And I do feel the project fits me well with my love for and industrial heritage and what I consider to be the real thing.

I feel passionate about working with natural materials that live for ever; wood and metal are really the materials that connect to the human so there was no question that the richness of their aging processes is a prefect combination I felt would be contrasting in the Emeco collection. I felt that using wood would create a softer edge to a product whilst the aluminum would keep to sophistication and heritage.

For me the new chair was much needed, not as a vanity but as good sold piece of industrial hardware for both domestic and contract markets.”

Lancaster features an indestructible, cast aluminum seat and back in dark anodized and machine polished finishes. The wood legs are available in natural ash-wood and dark stain ash-wood. The chair, which stacks six high, retails starting at €315 ex VAT, and will be available in May 2010.

Michael Young

Born in Sunderland, England in 1966, he studied furniture and product design at Kingston University between 1989 to 1992 . In 1994 Young opened his own studio in London and a second think space in the Icelandic capital, Reykjavik, which became his home for a short while. He has since developed products and furniture for such manufacturers as Cappellini , Magis and Rosenthal, bicycles for Giant, telephones for Native Union , interior projects such as Pissarro restaurant in Hong Kong. In 2006 he relocated his head office to Hong Kong to work with advanced technical industries creating a bridge between global industries employing the office.
He this years Creative Director of 100% Design Shanghai and Asian Aerospace events .


Emeco was founded in 1944 to make all-aluminum chairs for the US Navy. Gregg Buchbinder purchased the company in 1998 and began a friendship and association with the renowned French architect, Philippe Starck, creating a series of products that united Emeco’s historic manufacturing capabilities with Mr. Starck’s classic designs for a new century. In 2000, Mr. Starck’s Hudson chair for Emeco won the GOOD DESIGN Award and was inducted into the permanent design collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

In 2004, Emeco collaborated with the American architect Frank Gehry on Superlight, a chair that utilizes aluminum’s ability to be both strong and flexible. Mr. Gehry’s chair won another GOOD DESIGN award in 2004 and was included in collections at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Pinakothek der Modern in Munich. In 2007 Emeco’s collaboration with Norman Foster “20-06” debuted at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile and won another GOOD DESIGN award, as well as a 2007 Spark Design Award. Emeco launched the Nine-O collection by Ettore Sottsass – the last design by Mr. Sottsass who died in 2007 at the age of 90, and Morgans, a chair designed by Andrée Putman for the Morgans hotel renovation in New York.

From a workforce of 15 craftsmen in 1998, Emeco has quadrupled its size and recently instated a second manufacturing shift for the first time in 25 years. Emeco has made over 1,000,000 1006 Navy® chairs since 1944 and now sells its all-aluminum furniture in 50 countries.

Thank you Dan Fogelson

Philippe Starck on Collaborating with Emeco

If you are into chairs and design like me, you will love to hear this not so new but still valid explanation by designer Philippe Starck on his collaboration with Emeco.

Emeco itself has another video, Citizen, where you can see him at work with Gregg Buchbinder, the current owner of Emeco. Note how Philippe pronounces Buchbinder 🙂

The Norman Foster 75th Birthday “Light” Emeco 20-06 Chair

Received these photos from Emeco.


The Norman Foster 75th Birthday “Light” Emeco 20-06 Chair

We made one 20-06 chair for Norman Foster’s 75th birthday hand polished. It took about 26 hours! The profiles are so slim, that the slightest wrong movement and the entire chair has to be done again. We never offer the chair in polished, just brushed anodized, but you can see its magnificent! If we had charged for it, it would have been $10,000.-

Its still in the Foster Office, I think. No one sits in it 😉

Thanks Emeco for this “Chair in the Air”!

Tuyomyo by Frank Gehry for Emeco

Tuyomoko Lounger by Frank Gehry for Emeco

Frank Gehry’s Tuyomyo project with Emeco for The Hereditary Disease Foundation is a sleek bench that is almost more of a sculpture than seating. But as Gehry said, “The form has to be free and light. It must be structural, and at the same time poetic. And a little dangerous.”

Via MoCo Loco

Design Notes: Talking Sottsass in San Francisco.

Oh, Ettore Sottsass, how you are loved and missed. In 1981, with the launch of his Memphis Group, Sottsass pursued one of my favorite obessions – the often rocky and incestuous relationship between high and low brow. He effectively put a nail in the coffin of generally accepted 1970s idea of “good taste” (ie, boring). Though Memphis and its legion of young Italian designers imploded by the end of the decade, its impact is still relevant 25-plus years later. In 2007, before passing away at the age of 90, Sottsass (a longtime champion of the 1006 Navy® Chair) collaborated with aluminum chair manufacturers Emeco to unleash his final design: the Nine-0 Collection.

Via Design Withins Reache’s blog: Design Notes: Talking Sottsass in San Francisco.