Archive for July 30th, 2014

July 30, 2014

Monobloc

bert loeschner monoblog

The Monobloc [mon-uh-blok] chair is a lightweight stackable polypropylene chair, often described as the world’s most common plastic chair. Based on original designs by the Italian designer Vico Magistretti in 1967, variants of the one-piece plastic chair went into production with Allibert Group and Grossfillex Group in the 1970s. Since then, millions have been manufactured¬†globally.¬†Many design variants of the basic idea exist.

The Monobloc chair is so named because it is injection molded from thermoplastic polypropylene, the granules being heated to about 220 degrees Celsius, and the melt injected into a mold. The gate of the mold is usually located in the seat to ensure smooth flow to all parts of the tool. The chairs cost approximately $3 to produce, making them affordable across the world. Social theorist Ethan Zuckerman describes them as having achieved a global ubiquity: ‘The Monobloc is one of the few objects I can think of that is free of any specific context. Seeing a white plastic chair in a photograph offers you no clues about where or when you are.’

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