With its new chair and extended furniture family, internationally active contract furniture manufacturer Brunner is aiming to evolve the concept of the wooden chair. The result, a merging of nature and technology, is nate.

As a chair, nate from Brunner convinces down to the last detail, with its frame made of 100 per cent recycled plastic and wafer-thin moulded wood combined with sturdy solid wood

Brunner brings wood and plastic together in harmony | News

As a chair, nate from Brunner convinces down to the last detail, with its frame made of 100 per cent recycled plastic and wafer-thin moulded wood combined with sturdy solid wood

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Opposites attract, they say. But does that also apply in cases of more extreme oppositions, such as that between nature and technology? Or can completely contrasting materials like wood and plastic ever truly unite in form? Well, if you can change your perspective and approach to the concept of opposites like Steffen Kehrle, then the answer is yes.


‘Wood is natural, extremely resilient, perfect to work with and emotional’


The Munich-based designer sees wood as a high-tech material. ‘Wood is natural, extremely resilient, perfect to work with and emotional,’ Kehrle explains while also showing in his wooden chair design for Europe's leading contract furniture manufacturer Brunner how indeed opposites can be brought together as if they were created for each other.

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Thanks to its organic lines and clear design, the steel tube version, nate s, blends just as discreetly into room concepts as the wooden version, nate

Brunner brings wood and plastic together in harmony | News

Thanks to its organic lines and clear design, the steel tube version, nate s, blends just as discreetly into room concepts as the wooden version, nate

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A sustainable wooden chair with style

It is no coincidence that managing director of Brunner, Dr Marc Brunner, turned directly to Kehrle and his studio A S K. The studio is known for its progressive designs and Kehrle for his questioning of everyday things and not simply settling for the tried and tested.


‘The future-oriented design of a product does not start with the shell, but with the core’


The designer believes that ‘The future-oriented design of a product does not start with the shell, but with the core’. Brunner and A S K had the same idea that something should change as well as how to then approach the design – ideal conditions, then, for cooperation between the two on a wooden chair 2.0.

Steffen Kehrle, who studied industrial design and whose designs always offer a new perspective on everyday things, has been running his own studio in Munich since 2009

Brunner brings wood and plastic together in harmony | News

Steffen Kehrle, who studied industrial design and whose designs always offer a new perspective on everyday things, has been running his own studio in Munich since 2009

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The basis for the work on the wooden chair 2.0 is a shared vision of setting new standards in terms of sophisticated design, comfort, sustainability, contemporary production conditions, materials and durability. Stability and stackability, for example, should be as self-evident as distinctive aesthetics and consistently ecological production.

The goal is an appealing, high-tech wooden chair, with a soft, harmonious form, to accommodate the origin of the material. After all, ‘A tree grows organically, without straight lines,‘ says Kehrle. ‘But nevertheless, wood is often processed into boards, contrary to nature. We didn't want that.’ And with the most modern production technologies that Brunner has at its disposal, he is changing this.

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Stable, stackable and comfortable – just a few of the features that make nate an interior all-rounder

Brunner brings wood and plastic together in harmony | News

Stable, stackable and comfortable – just a few of the features that make nate an interior all-rounder

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How modern can a wooden chair be?

It took a total of three years for the shared vision to evolve into the wooden chair nate, one which reflects the company's values as well as Brunner and Steffen Kehrle's modern understanding of design. Here, nature really does meet technology and is fully apparent in the chair's clean lines, organic design language and sustainable approach.

In order to guarantee that the materials can be separated by type at the end of their life cycle, a frame made of recycled plastic that is screwed together replaces the glueing of wafer-thin moulded wood with more stable solid wood. This closed-loop concept is as forward-looking as the local-focused production process is environmentally friendly. It could barely be more 'Made in Germany' and that the wood used is certified almost goes without saying.

And because nate is convincing from both the points of view of environmental awareness as well as comfort, A S K and Brunner have taken the idea even further. The result is an entire product family that takes up the frame construction and organic lines of the wooden chair. Whether as a chair, stool, bar stool, bench or table, nate feels naturally present without necessarily pushing itself into the foreground – a benefit to any interior architecture plan.

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The chair is made of a combination of different types of wood and can be configured with various styles of upholstery, frame and frame colours as well as armrests. Only wood from PEFC-certified forests is used

Brunner brings wood and plastic together in harmony | News

The chair is made of a combination of different types of wood and can be configured with various styles of upholstery, frame and frame colours as well as armrests. Only wood from PEFC-certified forests is used

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A versatile product family

Philip Brunner, partner and youngest son of the couple who founded the company, finally gave the impetus to think about a steel tube version based on the strong design of the product line. And the material fits surprisingly easily into the concept of nate. With nate s, the product family has not only been expanded, the durable, high-quality, recyclable, round steel tube lends the design a kind of natural industrial look.

In addition to the modern wooden chair, the versatile product family also includes tables, stools, bar stools and a bench

Brunner brings wood and plastic together in harmony | News

In addition to the modern wooden chair, the versatile product family also includes tables, stools, bar stools and a bench

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Whether in the catering trade, in the office, in educational institutions or in the healthcare sector, the organic design language of the entire nate collection not only ensures a high level of comfort, it fits harmoniously into any architecture and also boasts numerous configuration options.


‘We live for furniture that makes new things possible’


‘Our furniture should push boundaries and redefine them – and we work tirelessly, sometimes unconventionally, and in different ways to others to achieve this,’ says Philip Brunner. The idea of innovation is deeply rooted in the company; even the very first order of the company – which was founded in 1977 – was considered 'impossible' to implement. ‘We live for furniture that makes new things possible,’ emphasises Dr Marc Brunner. And this is why, for more than 40 years, things have been created here from opposites and new designs from impossibilities.

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