Raphaël Von Allmen


Raphaël Von Allmen

'Plastic Back Chair' (diploma work)

Product and Industrial Design

Jury report

Comfortable tension seating
A flex­i­ble ma­te­r­ial at­tached to a solid base: that is the basic prin­ci­ple of the 'Plas­tic Back Chair'. The diploma work of young de­signer Raphaël von All­men con­vinced the jury. The ECAL trained ob­ject de­signer sub­mit­ted a straight­for­ward con­cept on the de­vel­op­ment of a chair with his 'Plas­tic Back Chair'. As a tran­si­tion from idea to con­crete re­al­i­sa­tion, von All­men, after some first sketches, first de­signed 3D mod­els made of paper and card­board on a 1:5 scale. By com­bin­ing both sketch and model he im­proved the scale and the qual­ity of the ma­te­r­ial bit by bit. A main dif­fi­culty in find­ing the form was, in par­tic­u­lar, the adap­ta­tion of the plas­tic back to the solid base of the chair. The pro­ject's re­sult is some­thing to be­hold. The end prod­uct of the four-month-long search is a chair with a flex­i­ble back made of plas­tic, chair legs made of alu­minium pro­files and a seat made out of an alu­minium plate. Func­tion­al­ity and con­struc­tion are clearly vis­i­ble and it be­comes im­me­di­ately ob­vi­ous what, how and in par­tic­u­lar why some­thing was put to­gether ex­actly like this by the de­signer. The con­cise form is cre­ated by a de­lib­er­ate re­turn to a sim­ple way of man­u­fac­tur­ing the back. In­stead of an ex­pen­sive cast, Raphaël von All­men chose a cheaper cut­ting tech­nique that al­lows him to keep pro­duc­tion costs down. The con­stituents are easy to take apart and can be reused in­di­vid­u­ally. The fit­ted polypropy­lene sheet is grooved in order to guar­an­tee sta­bil­ity and riv­eted to the stiff alu­minium con­struc­tion in a such a way that gives the backs its shape. The seat is screwed onto the alu­minium con­struc­tion and gives ul­ti­mate ten­sion to the plas­tic. In short: a chair where the ma­te­r­ial of­fers re­sis­tance.
Ed­uard Hart­mann


Raphaël Von Allmen
Born in
Designer HES, design industriel