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Sagmeister turns to HP Graphic Arts to create the revolutionary—and evolutionary—Darwin Chair

 
 
 

Story Highlights

  • World-renowned graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister rethinks traditional furniture design with the Darwin Chair—a chair that can evolve with you
  • The HP Designjet L65500 Printer and HP DuPont™ Tyvek® Banner enabled Sagmeister to create 230 high-quality prints that made up the chair’s cushion
  • The innovative Darwin Chair is an example of Sagmeister’s groundbreaking work and redefines what is possible in the world of furniture design

Rethinking seating

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The work: album covers, posters, books. The clients: Lou Reed, The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith. The reputation: maverick, icon, rock star. The name: Stefan Sagmeister. After more than 30 years in the graphic design industry, Sagmeister has made headlines for numerous reasons, but it all boils down to one thing: groundbreaking graphic design.

With a knack for transforming stale thinking, Austrian-born Sagmeister often pulls inspiration from the ordinary. Take the recent renovation of his studio in New York City. Unable to find furniture he liked and unwilling to settle, Sagmeister decided to design the graphic chairs he wanted himself.

The result? A chair that can change with you. “The idea developed of designing a chair that has hundreds of sheets of paper as a cushion. Just rip off a sheet of paper, and you have a chair with a new color, pattern and texture,” Sagmeister says.

The evolution of a chair

“Because we wanted the design to have intricate patterns, we needed a high-quality printing technique that could depict very fine lines and many colors. We also wanted something that would reduce the environmental impact of printing. With those parameters, the HP Designjet L65500 Printer was chosen.”

Stefan Sagmeister,

Graphic designer

As his vision of what became known as the Darwin Chair took shape, Sagmeister focused on how to make it happen. He started by choosing to create the base out of stainless steel instead of wood. “This allowed it to become skinnier and free swinging, so it really became all about the paper,” he says.


And just what made the paper deserve the star treatment? “Each of the 230 sheets is printed with a different design,” Sagmeister says. The intricate patterns represent the creation of the universe and the creation of the world, from the beginning of plant, animal and human life all the way to the digital revolution.


“Because we wanted the design to have intricate patterns, we needed a high-quality printing technique that could depict very fine lines and many colors. We also wanted something that would reduce the environmental impact of printing. With those parameters, the HP Designjet L65500 Printer was chosen.”


The design is in the details

The Darwin Chair printed with the HP Commercial Designjet L65500

To complete the production of the Darwin Chair, Sagmeister needed to select the paper that would make up the cushion. Having already found a way to offer hundreds of different styles in one piece of furniture, Sagmeister used his choice of paper to extend the life of the chair even further.

“The chair is a piece that will probably have a shelf life of 30, 40 or even 50 years, so we were very careful when we designed these sheets,” he notes. To achieve this level of durability and versatility, Sagmeister decided to print on HP DuPont™ Tyvek® Banner.

Along with rethinking the way the prints could be used, Sagmeister rethought the way they were produced. He reduced the environmental impact of the Darwin Chair’s prints by working with the HP Designjet L65500.

Design remix

“A lot of things that I do, printers tell me are not possible at first. I like to constantly push the edge there.”

Stefan Sagmeister,

Graphic designer
With the creation of the Darwin Chair, Sagmeister redefined what is possible in the world of furniture design. And he demonstrated the benefits anyone can achieve by rethinking the ordinary. Just as Sagmeister was able to break design barriers, commercial printers can also break business barriers and capture new opportunities.

“A lot of things that I do, printers at first tell me are not possible at first. I like to constantly push the edge there,” Sagmeister says. The Darwin Chair is a testament to Sagmeister’s ability to rethink the ordinary and to the groundbreaking results.