Design Classic: Poly Chair

Cutting-edge techniques and good looks have assured this piece's status for years to come

Designer: Karim Rashid, 2007.

Details: Injection-moulded polycarbonate dining chair, from £190, Bonaldo.

Conceived by one of the design world’s leading exponents of affordable ‘democratic’ furniture, Karim Rashid’s Poly chair is as poised as it is practical, an ergonomic beauty manufactured by cutting-edge techniques to create a comfy, embracing piece of seating. It’s plastic too, a material that Egyptian-born Rashid is almost religiously attached to. ‘I love plastic,’ he says. It’s warm, soft, malleable, flexible, lightweight and full of design possibilities.’

First unveiled at Milan’s Salone del Mobile in 2007, the Poly was the result of two years’ experimentation, with Rashid tweaking his simple yet stylish structure to produce the perfect degree of inclination in the chair’s backrest. Its crafted take on chic good looks proved to be an instant hit, winning international design awards along with commercial success.

Since the original chair was launched, Rashid has added the Poly XO, pictured, a fabric-, leather- or eco-leather covered model, and the Poly XOXO, a two-tone version of the upholstered design, which comes in smart, contemporary combos of any of Bonaldo’s fabrics or leathers. Aware of the environmental damage caused by the use of plastic, Rashid is promising a design revolution whether employing biodegradable, 100 per cent recycled plastic or even deriving the material from renewable plant-based sources.

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