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Finding freedom in simplicity – Billiani’s Layer chair

Defined by a continuity and linearity between design and material is the Layer chair by the award-winning German designer, Michael Geldmacher, for Billiani.

Finding freedom in simplicity – Billiani’s Layer chair

Michael Geldmacher is a man of distinct views. He’s tired of the design classics, he says. “I prefer new things with a particular aesthetic appeal.” He feels his projects reveal his love of “simple things”, and he believes that in design “ideally form communicates the function”.

Billiani's layer chair

When considering a chair, he says, it does not present a challenge because the function is inherent in the chair itself. In the Layer chair, which Geldmacher has designed for Billiani, you can see the tenets of his thinking displayed with clarity and balance.

The Layer’s most distinguishing feature, perhaps, is its resolute profile with splayed legs. This stems from the perfect embrace achieved between its components of wood and upholstery. In a single glance, one can appreciate the continuous flow of Layer’s frame, defined by a plywood armrest that extends to effortlessly join its back padding.

For Geldmacher, the collaboration with Billiani begun from a place of “concrete” ideas. This gradually evolved, in fact “a great deal”. From his initial sketches to the final version presented at the Salone del Mobile Milano 2018, the resulting chair is a symbol of design finesse and attests to Geldmacher’s expertise in this space.

On a more personal level, sitting – and seating – represents both freedom and respite for the designer. “I love going to the mountains and, after a few hours up there, nothing beats sitting on the rock at the top which seems the most comfortable chair in the world,” he says.

Indeed the simplicity and refinement of Layer’s streamlined form makes the basic function of sitting both a liberating and comfortable experience for the user.

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