Chair-4a by Michael Young


Hong Kong designer Michael Young has created a dining chair made of recycled aluminium.

The uprights are made of sheet aluminium, rolled into tubes to form legs and the backrest but opened out to meet each corner of the seat.

Called Chair-4a, the piece was originally designed for Hong Kong restaurant SML but will be released in Japan and Europe early next year.

Young exhibited the design as part of Vienna Design Week last month.

Here's some more information from Michael Young:



Part of the ‘WORKS IN CHINA’ collection

Michael Young has designed Chair-4a as part of his extendd “Works in China” collection, that will be launched globally in early 2010 in Japan and Europe. Created as part of Alexi Robinson’s interior for hip restaurant group SML, the project was designed for local launch in Hong Kong earlier this year.

The project explores new technologies and typologies made available only by working with highly skilled engineering facilities in Shenzhen, China.

For Young the chair was developed through observation of Mac book industries:

“I realised that if I could capture the engineering skills employed by local industry and put that depth of knowledge in aluminium research in furniture design using a similar mass-produced nature, I could design a state-of-the-art and relevant chair.

"In recent years chairs have taken all nature of shape and form due to the use of plastics, but plastic in itself is not a pleasant material to use. Its tactility and its aging process are highly unpleasant. For the same price I can use recycled aluminium and in fact create a more sustainable chair that also creates jobs rather than having a man just pressing a button.

"The tooling is complex but we created a chair that lasts a lifetime, engineered beyond plastic technology and far more sustainable,” says Young.

Chair-4a will be released in Europe and Japan early 2010 and comes in a number of finishes including leather seat inserts and floor pegs. Young concludes, “This chair pays homage to all the things I love.”

This chair will be sold exclusively by DD-3.

Posted on Wednesday November 4th 2009 at 1:50 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • horrible haridas

    good. very very good.

  • modular

    I love this chair. You’re the greatest, man!!!

  • BRian


    Eleegant Michael Young, Just abit cold on the tush!

  • Interesting concept, especially the fact that it was inspired by mac books which is funny seeing as I’m typing on one as I write this. While the design and thought is admirable, it looks really uncomfortable to sit in. Might work as a kitchen chair to sit in for 30 minutes max otherwise I think it would hurt to sit in that chair.

  • poor mix between a tolix chair and the muji chair by thonet

  • it’s catching eyes, elegant, brillant (even it’s not polish aluminium)
    Thonet can’t do it with wood , even a “genius designer” Philippe Starck who created a Masters Thonet chair in pp for kartell coul’d not do that with Eugenie Quittlet, “the best designer in the world”(BBC 2) …. As said Modular you are a great designer and may be you will to morrow a “genius designer”. Please send me a container from China, as i am a poor teacher , i will leave in it….Thanks!!!

  • frank'X

    I don't think it looks uncomfortable.

    I have extruded aluminium chairs already and I can tell they're always cold, and this makes them uncomfortable.

    A shame I have to put a pillow on this beautiful object!

  • Yoshika: “Recycling is not the solution – we need to find ways to stop consuming energy altogether. I’m experimenting with materials and production techniques that have never been seen before, which I hope to show in Milan next year. It’s my job as a designer to be a pioneer.”

  • @ jckarich is it the old tolix chair or the new one by french emerging normal studio?

  • tashida

    it looks like a wonder in evolution ,cross old to future , its too great to compare to the present to me , i want to give up design , i will never think of this ,its beyond most designers you see here on zeen …this is real

  • see here the Muji chair by Thonet
    is it only a “mix design” as jckarich or “sampling design” or much more?

  • Cat

    I think this chair is not what it could be, I think it is actually quite ugly, with it’s trousers tucked into it’s socks. I think the idea is nice, but not well executed in my opinion.

  • see here the new tolix chair by parisian normal studio…

  • Thanks Michael!

    This is a CHAIR! Respect and congrats!

  • Xit

    Im with Cat on this one, nice technique bad execution.

  • robert

    the tolix by normal is very sad , to think that is all they could do to an old classic ….. they killed its history, design is evolution not revolution and mr young's chair is real 21st century genius ……. full respect for industrial progress …. thonet , that is just a strip across an old thonet back , um ? full respect michael young, the first real chair in years

  • 1/this chair is quite complex (may be too complex)
    2/material: is aluminium good for a restaurant chair? is Recycling the solution ?
    3/ is it well balanced? Sure it’s not a starck or bouroulec chair .Good differenciation?
    4/ nice VS ugly , any one like different dog …Poodle’s feet?

  • fishfingers

    Good to see MY has his design mojo back- lots of good work over the last yr or so.

  • differencial design in chair design is very very difficult now(even for Starck+++)… so the best solution is for young designers to design any thing else (a radiator, an air cleaner, an aquarium ….or solution for the future)

  • robert

    agreed ,this is the single most progressive chair i have seen since starck started
    playing with plastic 15 years ago , its the start of some thing very new , and very unique , tolix was 40 years ago and this pays perfect respect to advanced technology ,

  • efj

    Great idea but it does not look inviting

  • efj

    i take that back i really need to see it in person to give it a proper responce

  • Pierre Sinsua

    curl your tongue!