Brunner presents mudra
Rheinau, 01/04/2022 – After three years of development, Brunner and Diez Office are proud to present mudra, a universal chair that puts a modern spin on the technical and environmentally-friendly possibilities of shaped wood technology. The universal stackable chair for the office, cafeteria or home is part of the mudra product range, which is being expanded and supplemented to include new models. The combination of organic seat shell and structured frame is a thread running through the history of design that mudra picks up and continues with the aid of state-of-the-art shaped wood technology. "With mudra, we have created a product marked by its simplicity," explains designer Stefan Diez. "We wanted to push ourselves to the limits of what is technologically feasible in terms of design and ergonomics. What an amazing opportunity to create the next generation of the shell chair."
mudra is manufactured knowing that evolutionary progress can only be achieved by combining history and technical excellence. All of the components are made in Germany, are easy to dismantle and are interchangeable. The open loop-shaped back becomes the central feature, providing elegant back support without restricting anyone to a single seated position. At the same time, mudra is exceptionally comfortable because it is light and flexible enough to yield to any movements. The generous loop opening in the back section creates a high degree of visual continuity and spatial overlapping when the chair is used at large gatherings. As a result, mudra creates a distinct impression of spatial separation even in larger numbers. The loop shape makes the chair easy to move and stack from a practical point of view. "We see mudra as a universal chair that can be used in countless ways in a variety of settings, including cafeterias and the hospitality industry," says Dr Marc Brunner, Managing Director of the Brunner Group.
The cooperation between BRUNNER & DIEZ OFFICE
The strategic development of the mudra product range required an in-depth understanding of functionality and extremely high design standards combined with specific production expertise. After careful research, Brunner found exactly what they were looking for in a partner for their next project – Stefan Diez’s portfolio said it all. Dr Marc Brunner, Managing Director of the Brunner Group, had been following the Munich-based designer’s work for a while and contacted him directly. He’d always been impressed with Diez’s design excellence and depth. It wasn’t long before initial discussions were underway and a deep mutual understanding of substance-based, functional design came to light. After Stefan Diez visited Brunner’s site in Baden, the groundwork for a promising partnership was complete. In the months that followed, the partners learnt a lot about the other’s processes as a way of coming up with a basic design concept for mudra. The prototype of the design chair as it now stands was born out of conviction over many rounds of development without the constraints of a strict timeline. In fact, this happened over a stretch of almost three years. From the word go, the collaboration between Diez and Brunner has been built on their shared passion for innovative ways of working with materials, need for perfection, attention to detail and unwillingness to compromise on functionality and iconic design.
"Shell chairs are at the heart of what we do," Dr Marc Brunner explains "therefore, the first goal of the partnership was to see what possibilities the latest 3D moulded wood technology offers, how extreme the shaping could be, and how it could be used to build a genuinely innovative shell chair."
Brunner and Diez Office embarked on a unique transformation process for the project in which they continually pushed one another: "We wanted to end up with a product that was technologically, environmentally, and aesthetically state of the art while still being available at a reasonable price," says Stefan Diez, "and it was with this in mind that we challenged Brunner as a manufacturer to join us on this journey."
The goal and the motivation
mudra was created with the goal of using innovative 3D moulded wood technology as efficiently as possible for industrial production, thereby adding a new chapter to the history of the shell chair: "We wanted to take the best of what seventy years of working with plywood had to offer from the history of design. mudra is about evolution," says Stefan Diez. At the same time, the idea was for the high level of innovation in its production to ensure a simple and attractive high-end design – high production complexity with design harmony.
As a result, mudra represents a human desire to understand what is technically possible, pride in craftsmanship, and an awareness that evolutionary progress can only be achieved by building on the past. This also applies to the sustainability aspects, which are an important part of the project: the idea was to keep material costs to a minimum through efficient production methods while combining sustainable and recyclable raw materials to ensure the easy interchangeability of the individual components.
The aim was to create a product that was a true evolution of the shell chair in terms of materials, design, simplicity and sustainability standards.
The design process
mudra pays homage to design history while also using cutting-edge technology to create an innovative product at an affordable price: "The history of plywood technology in furniture began with designs like Charles and Ray Eames' leg splint and the beautiful range of furniture that resulted," says Stefan Diez, "Today this history can only be continued in Europe, Italy or Germany, where the technology is still being developed."
Even the early models took the conceptual approach of not simply pairing the shell with just any base but designing both elements to merge into one logical unit. At the same time, the goal was to connect the individual elements so they could be disassembled, replaced and repaired easily. This ensures genuine durability and sustainability, particularly in places like restaurants or the semi-public sector, increasing profitability across the product's entire life cycle.
Developing the seat shell was the most difficult part of mudra's design process: The shaping required to create an open, natural-looking loop shape pushes 3D moulded wood technology to its limits. The end result is a fascinating and visually appealing design that exemplifies sophisticated manufacturing, high-quality materials and value and can be considered a true evolution of a shaped wood chair.
The final product
With mudra, Brunner and Diez Office present a design that puts a modern spin on the concept of the shaped wood chair in terms of technology, design and sustainability. The combination of an organic shell and a technically structured frame is a thread running through the history of design that mudra has purposefully picked up and developed further with state-of-the-art 3D moulded wood technology and modern aesthetics.
The name mudra stems from the word for symbolic hand gestures in Hinduism and Buddhism, in which the closed circle represents an excellent flow of energy. This is a reference to the organic loop shape used in baroque chair designs as early as the 17th century to make them lighter and more elegant while improving visibility and manoeuvrability. The open loop-shaped back also becomes a key design feature of mudra: in a cafeteria or restaurant, even large groups of the chair do not visually block the space with closed backs but instead allow for visual continuity and spatial overlapping. As a result, mudra creates a distinct impression of spatial separation even in larger numbers. The loop shape makes the chair easy to move and stack from a practical point of view.
mudra only uses sustainable and easily recyclable raw materials and resources, and their use is systematically minimised through intelligent design, beginning with the manufacturing stage. All components can be separated again. Even the seat shell and upholstery are not glued together. The upholstery material and seat cover are attached by a zip, elastic band or a clever pull cord attachment in the various versions of the chair. The user can disassemble, clean or replace any of the individual elements. mudra can easily be renewed after years of use, making it a sustainable product with an exceptionally long life.
Areas of use
The classic iconic shell defines the mudra product range. The bases determine its various uses in the catering sector or homes. The steel frame is ideal for professional environments such as seminar rooms or cafeterias. Even in large numbers, it is easy to stack and move and can be stored without taking up too much space. It enables flexibility in catering areas that need to be rearranged on a regular basis while meeting today's demands for versatility and mobility. The wooden frame lends a homely feel to the seat shell, making it ideal for restaurants and hotel lobbies.
Since all versions are built using the same elements, the bases can be easily switched to make them suitable for different environments. mudra oozes quiet confidence in any combination and any setting. More versions will be added to the mudra product range, such as a central foot on casters for the office or a low wooden frame for lounge areas.
Find out more now: mudra in detail.