Industrial design students: the presentation of Oskar Zieta’s Ultraleggera chair is a good source of learning



In order to surpass the Superleggera (“super light”) chair by Gio Ponti, the Swiss designer Oskar Zieta used two production methods that Ponti could never have dreamed of in 1957: laser cutting and FiDU.

FiDU is a German acronym for Freie Innen Druck Umformung, “Free internal pressure forming” in English. It is essentially hydroforming, but using air as an inflator. Zieta, who developed the method, used it to create the aluminum frame for its beautiful Ultraleggera chair.

The seat and back are laser cut aluminum, and careful design resulted in a total weight of 1,660 grams (3.66 pounds) versus 1,700 grams (3.75 pounds) of Ponti.

You could say that cutting 40 grams of something is a living room tip, but this chair isn’t all about that, especially for industrial design students, who should definitely watch the accompanying product video. It ticks many boxes to find out what would give you high marks on one of your school presentations:

– He discusses and demonstrates an understanding of the chosen material

– He cites trendy natural sources of inspiration (seashells, skeletons, phrases like “we admired the wings of dragonflies”, etc.)

– In addition to describing its basic utility, it highlights some sort of added benefit felt by the user when the chair does not perform its primary function, i.e. an offline consideration, namely that ” it is exceptionally easy to get around

– It demonstrates respect for the environment and ease of recycling

– It cites the performance test numbers

– It shows use cases in different age groups

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If your own presentation had all of the same elements, it would be an uncompromising teacher who would give you a low grade. (Just don’t mention that you’re about to outdo Gio Ponti.)

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