WORLD DESIGN SPOTLIGHT: «Adela Rex». Andreu World and Philippe Starck
14 Nov 2022 /

WORLD DESIGN SPOTLIGHT: «Adela Rex». Andreu World and Philippe Starck

The first collaboration between the Valencian firm Andreu World and French designer Philippe Starck (Paris, 73) is “Adela Rex, presented during Milan Design Week 2021. 

This is the name of the firm’s greenest collection, made, as is the norm in this company, with wood from the brand’s own replanted forests. The chairs are composed of elegant pieces without screws, the different parts of which are easy to assemble and, furthermore, can be easily dismantled for recycling when necessary. The design of Adela Rex is precise, comprising pieces that fit together like a jig-saw puzzle and do not require tools or additional elements. 

The application of the circular economy in this collaboration is an easy example to understand. Everything is designed so that the components can have a second life, leaving a minimal carbon footprint, as well as having a very attractive design.

This collection forms part of the 100% pure wood project by Andreu World, comprising designs made from this material (walnut or oak veneer) from the firm’s own forests in Eastern Europe, in the Carpathians of Ukraine, where they ensure that everything that is felled is replanted. 

“The forests where we cut our wood have been stewarded with a great deal of intelligence and long-term vision since the times of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, when they began to reforest them 200 years ago. That is how long a slow-growing tree – the species we use – needs to become an adult specimen. Their cultivation not only provided us with a quality raw material, but they also revealed to us the technique to distinguish the wood that was especially selected to create a Stradivarius, the same material that we now use to create chairs and tables that also aspire to be exceptional”, they explain at Andreu World.

Chairs are tools for communication, for change. I only design chairs that provide more than just a seat" – Philippe Starck

As well as being recyclable, Adela Rex has been developed with the commitment to comply with the strictest international standards and certifications, which guarantee maximum transparency and a minimum impact from their production.

As Philippe Starck himself affirmed at the presentation of the collection, “We want wood in our lives. It is a basic human need to be surrounded by signs that remind us of nature and predict the future.” 

The designer has explained in the past that, for him, “chairs are tools for communication, for change. I only design chairs that provide more than just a seat“. Highly critical of mass consumption and a staunch defender of sustainability, Starck has never designed for a tobacco company, a bookmaker or for a non-democratic country, as he explained in an interview in the newspaper “El País”. He has supported “ethical” design from the outset, and continues to do so.

Philippe Starck says that, to complete a beautiful project, the members must be in love and share the same vision. The French designer has been a champion of ecology since he began his professional career. “Sooner or later we had to find ourselves on this track. This armchair is stackable and it forms part of a seating project from 100% FSC wood that we are developing together, totally sustainable throughout, and which adds a degree of innovation in our manufacturing. It uses plywood, which is probably the most sustainable material because its utilization rate is far higher, taking the veneer to the limit with a special mould that makes it possible to obtain 3D geometries”, they explained at Andreu World regarding their collaboration with the French designer to create Adela Rex.

The furniture of Andreu World (National Design Award in 2007) decorates the most unexpected spaces in the world, from multiple award-winning restaurants to the offices of Google, Twitter and Facebook, and the universities of Princeton and Harvard. And although the company has shops across half the globe, from the United States to Japan, the base for its operations is still in Alacuás and its large showroom is in Chiva, both towns in Valencia. 

Andreu World was a small workshop in 1955, when Francisco Andreu began all this. It is now the largest furniture exporter in Spain, selling 80% of its production to 70 countries and generating more than 500 jobs.

Photography: Andreu World.