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Without specifically naming Bertoia, French designer Patrick Norguet cites the “tradition of iron wire chairs” as the inspiration for his Kobi chair, designed for Italian furniture manufacturer Alias. Of course, if you want to make a woven metal chair, references to Bertoia are impossible to avoid. Still, Norguet expands on is predecessor’s basket-weave seat, bringing it up higher on the sides. The base is more prominent, too, with thicker legs and a wider support belt made from cast aluminum that wraps from the seat bottom all the way out to the sides.
Seat cushions are available in fabric and leather, and there are two options for the chair as well: support and legs in stove enamelled aluminum with a colored or chrome shell, or a stove enamelled support with aluminum legs in oak veneered aluminum and a shell lacquered in a variety of colors.
Even though my family’s hand-me-down Bertoia patio chairs are rusty and badly in need a paint job, I still prefer the shape of his seat over Norguet’s. What do you think? Is the Kobi an unnecessary remake, an overdue upgrade, or simply another option?