Dezeen Magazine

Canal Chair for Moooi "is part of my personal heritage" says Luca Nichetto

Italian designer Luca Nichetto explains how his Canal Chair references Venice, the city where he first made his name as a designer, in our latest Design Dreams movie in collaboration with Moooi.

Launched during Stockholm Design Week in February 2018, Canal Chair is the first product Nichetto designed for Dutch design brand Moooi.

The name of the chair is a reference to the canals of Venice and nearby island Murano, where Nichetto was born and got his first break as a designer.

Canal Chair by Luca Nichetto for Moooi
Canal Chair by Luca Nichetto for Moooi was launched during Stockholm Design Week in 2018

The key feature of Canal Chair is the curved shape of its back, which rises to a slight point to evoke the form of the bow of a traditional Venetian boat.

"The idea of Canal Chair came when I was walking in Venice and I saw some people in a boat having a drink," Nichetto recalls in the movie, which Dezeen filmed for Moooi in Venice and Stockholm.

"I saw the shape of the boat and the people sitting on it and I started to think immediately that it could be an amazing chair."

The form of Luca Nichetto's Canal Chair for Moooi is based on the bow of Venetian boats

Canal Chair is available with metal or oak legs, including a swivel option, upholstered in a range of fabric colours based on the bright stripes typically painted on Venetian boats.

The chair can also be customised with bespoke embroidery, a reference to the way that Venetians personalise their boats.

Canal Chair is available in a range of different colours, wither either metal or oak legs

Moooi also released a version of the chair with Nichetto's family coat of arms emblazoned on it to encourage this customisation.

"If I own a boat, I want that boat to be recognised as a Luca boat, so I have my colours, my name, my decoration on that boat," Nichetto says.

"I wanted to transfer the same kind of feeling to the Canal Chair so I used the Nichetto family logo. It’s just to share something that is part of my personal heritage."

Canal Chair can be customised with bespoke embroidery

Nichetto was born in Murano in 1976 and studied at Venice's art school before studying industrial design at the Università Iuav di Venezia, where he graduated in 1998.

He founded Nichetto Studio in Venice in 2006, before opening up a second office in 2011 in Stockholm, where he is currently based.

Murano is famous around the world for its glass industry, which almost all of Nichetto's friends and family were involved in, and he says that it was this background that set him off on the path to becoming a product designer.

"Being from Murano, to see a drawing become an object was kind of normal," he explains.

"With my classmate during the summer, we prepared a folder full of drawings, knocking on the door of 10-20 different glass factories to try to sell the drawings to these factories to have some coins in our pockets to have fun during the summer time."

A version of Canal Chair is available with Luca Nichetto's family crest emblazoned onto it

Nichetto got his break during his last year of university when Simon Moore, art director of famous glass company Salviati, recognised his talent and invited him to the factory to show him how the company worked with designers.

He ended up designing a collection of vases for Salviati called Millebolle, which went on to become one of the company's best sellers and established Nichetto's reputation as a designer.

"The Canal Chair is very important to me because it has some characteristics that come from the city where my career started," he explains.

"Working with Moooi was amazing – the possibility to take a dream, something that was a boat and moving that into making a chair. There are only a few companies in the world that can do that and Moooi is one of them."

Luca Nichetto. Portrait by Dezeen

This movie was filmed by Dezeen for Moooi in Venice and Stockholm. It is part of an ongoing collaboration between Dezeen and Moooi called Design Dreams exploring how successful designers turned their dreams into reality.