There is a sensuousness to wood which verges on the erotic, say the designers. And unlike so many other materials, wood ages beautifully. As these remarks and others like them show, Carmen and Urs Greutmann belong to one of the most important traditions of furniture design there is. For ever since the 1920s, wood, like steel tube, has had a crucial and highly innovative role to play in the world of furniture design. Erich Dieckmann, for example, who after Marcel Breuer was the most influential furniture designer at the now near legendary Bauhaus, was a great devotee of wood. Not only did this Ger-man designer like to use top quality wood, but he often combined it with designs that would permit the production of whole series. This spirit of progressive design informed Muscat, too, whose designers regard it as a homage to Dieckmann.
The chair is remarkable for its formal simplicity, for its solid, ergonomically shaped backrest and the ingenuity of the underpinning. And to guarantee maximum stability, it is assembled using a variation on the traditional mortise and tenon joint – a kind of inverse mortise and tenon, as it were. Which helps explain the sheer elegance of this chair – which incidentally can be supplemented with a matching footstool.
Set beside the chair, the small, three-legged side table with the eye-catching hole-cum-grip in the middle of its round, marble-like mineral-based tabletop, looks like a playful, almost whimsical comment on its Bauhaus-style big brother.