Michael Sodeau uses Formula 1 engineering to create carbon-fibre Halo chair
London Design Festival 2014: London designer Michael Sodeau has created a lightweight circular chair from Hypetex, a coloured carbon-fibre material developed by racing car engineers.
Following seven years of research and development, Hypetex engineers created a carbon-fibre composite that has been developed in a range of colours for furniture design.
The first product made entirely from the material is the Halo lounge chair by Michael Sodeau, which features a thin wing-shaped seat on three legs and a large disc-shaped back that completely eclipses the seat when viewed from behind.
"We wanted to create a very graphic form, something that would have a strong identity, hence idea of the disc on the back of the chair," Sodeau told Dezeen. "The contoured shape interacts perfectly with light creating vibrant refractions on the surface of the material."
"When the chair is viewed from behind it hides what is in front, adding a playful quality that only reveals its full shape as you walk around it," he added.
The chair is constructed from the high-tech composite material by Hypetex engineers, who also work on parts for Formula 1 racing cars, at their UK manufacturing space using a unique patented process.
"Hypetex is different from other materials that I've worked with in the sense that it offers a lot of freedom from a design point of view," said Sodeau. "It enables us to create a mono-material design, so aesthetically we can have a strong dynamic shape with one material over the whole object."
"The carbon fibre enables us to generate shapes not achievable in other materials," he continued. "The aesthetics and performance of this material lend themselves perfectly to this piece."
While other companies have attempted to create coloured carbon fibre, Hypetex claim their version is the first to achieve vibrant colour while maintaining the high performance properties of the material.
“When we were introduced to Michael, he immediately saw the potential for Hypetex in the design world," Marc Cohen, CEO of GPF One and owner of Hypetex told Dezeen.
"We decided to collaborate on designs that would demonstrate the vibrancy, colour and strength of the material. The aesthetic quality of Hypetex and the strength and lightness of the material makes it perfect for use in design."
The Halo chair will be launched at the designjunction exhibition during this year's London Design Festival in September.
Hypetex and Michael Sodeau Studio are currently working together on further design applications for the material.