A new myth is born: MYTO, a cantilever chair, made entirely of plastic. It is the brainchild of an unprecedented collaboration between a designer, a furniture manufacturer and a plastic producer. A joint creation by Konstantin Grcic, acclaimed industrial designer and recipient of many international awards, by the Italian manufacturer PLANK and by BASF.
The MYTO cantilever chair is made entirely of BASF's novel, easy-flowing engineering plastic Ultradur High Speed. The MYTO is available in eight different colors.
From the Seed of an Idea All the Way to the Market Launch
The MYTO project dates back to the late summer of 2006, when BASF invited four renowned industrial designers, among them internationally renowned Konstantin Grcic, to a joint workshop in Ludwigshafen to familiarize them with the creative potential of the "Ultras", BASF's product range of engineering plastics. In the months that followed, collaboration with Konstantin Grcic (KGID), gave birth to the idea of implementing the special properties of Ultradur High Speed in an industrially produced design object. A consensus was soon reached that a chair, a cantilever chair, would be the greatest challenge for a piece of furniture made of plastic, not only in terms of production but also of design. The Italian furniture manufacturer PLANK came on board at a very early stage of the development and was put in charge of manufacturing the serial part and selling the chair.
Fast action, team spirit and the ideal combination of plastic and the concept of a cantilever chair paved the way for this ambitious project. The constructive dialog among all participants was instrumental in achieving the record-breaking development time of just over a year. "This level of efficiency is a first. Finalizing a project within such a short time has blazed new trails in the realm of design," states Grcic. As the initiator, BASF's know-how about this novel material was the moving force behind the entire process. After just a brief time, the preliminary designs of the chair were ready, making optimal use of the technical and esthetic properties of the material. Then came the first wire mock-ups, followed by Styropor models to demonstrate the sitting comfort as well as several CAD models and development loops to calculate the strength and the shape of the molded part. In May of 2007, the partners decided on the final design and started to build the molding tool.
Design and Designfabrik
The collaboration with Konstantin Grcic and the MYTO chair are the impressive outcome of an expanded marketing concept adopted by BASF Plastics: in its quest to tap into new markets, BASF is increasingly shifting its focus to the topic of designing with plastics. An integral part of this concept is the designfabrik, the design factory founded in Ludwigshafen, Germany in May of 2006, where industrial designers can consult with BASF plastic experts and receive advice ranging from the initial idea about the product concept, all the way to colour and tool design.