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Case Study: The Vitra Vegetal Chair

December 17th, 2018

Category: WB Jamieson

Author: Lean Barron



For the Vegetal project, Ronan and Erwan decided to take inspiration from the greatest architect; Nature. The Vegetal chair takes the branch-like structures and forms found throughout the natural world to for a slightly irregular seat which is rooted to the floor with four elegantly tapering legs.

A look into the creation of the the Vegetal Chair by the world renowned Bouroullec brothers: Ronan and Erwan.

Vitra Vegetal development sketch


For the Vegetal project, Ronan and Erwan decided to take inspiration from the greatest architect; Nature. The Vegetal chair takes the branch-like structures and forms found throughout the natural world to for a slightly irregular seat which is rooted to the floor with four elegantly tapering legs.

early sketches of the Vegetal Chair

Constructed from die-cast, fibre reinforced polyamide, the Vegetal chair is suited to both the indoors and outdoors and available in six different colours.

Complex and detailed developmental designs of the Vitra Vegetal

This project of passion took over 4 years to complete, but the result is something that is a real conversation piece and that works in a large variety of spaces with its borrowed flowing forms taken from the flora found in nature.

Early prototyping of the Vegetal Chair

The Vegetal features a flat branching structure which forms the seat’s shell in an ever-so-slightly irregular pattern with strengthening ribs growing from the underside and joining like a web of veins to form four elegant, supportive legs.

An elegant prototype version of the Vitra Vegetal

More specific inspiration for this piece was taken from 20th century gardens where young trees grew into furniture-like structures the continual care and deliberate persuasion.

The designer working on the finish of the Vegetal Chair

The question was clear for the designers; How to construct a chair that would give the impression or give form to the concept of a grown chair.

The Bouroullec Brothers Studying their design

In developing their ideas Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec took cultural and historical aspects into consideration.

Another iteration of the Vitra Vegetal Chair

Beyond its historical considerations the Vegetal also correspondes to current trends towards the flexible use of weatherproof furniture in interiors, the garden or the terrace.

The early designs are works of art in their own right.

To realise the innovative concept the designers had developed it took an intensive collaborative approach with Vitra to realise what has come to be known as the Vegetal chair.

Incredibly detailed early drawing of the vegetal chair

Without the pressure of deadlines and limited time, an exceptional solution resulted, something that can only be achieved when the designer and the manufacturer are dedicated to producing a design of this complexity.

 The final form is stackable.

The Pioneering Vegetal Chair is comfortable, Sturdy and weather resistant, made from durable die-cast fibre-enforced polyamide.

 The Vegetal chair with the plants it was inspired by.

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