Catifa Carta by Arper is the latest sustainable interpretation of a contemporary icon

25 June 2024

Arper Catifa Carta

The new Catifa Carta is made of PaperShell, a revolutionary material obtained from the transformation of waste from wood production.

In 2001, the Lievore Altherr Molina studio designed a stackable seat with a linear, essential and straightforward design for Arper Catifa 53: the shell in a single piece in polypropylene, possibly covered and padded, rests on four legs in chromed, painted or satin-finished steel. Much more than a chair, Catifa 53 was configured as a concept, a manifesto of Arper’s identity and its design concreteness.

A model that is obtained by subtraction and over the years learns to take on new guises through chromatic and formal expansions. Today Catifa is preparing to become revolutionary thanks to a path undertaken by Arper in the direction of truly circular production, which is expressed in Catifa Carta whose name, as we will see, is already a preview of the technological innovation it brings.

Photo credits: Salva Lopez

The heart of the Catifa Carta collection is PaperShell, a revolutionary material used to produce furniture for the first time by Arper. If in the industry we usually think of paper as a product derived from wood, PaperShell, from a perfectly circular perspective, follows the path in reverse by transforming paper into an artificial, high-performance wood: “It surpasses the resistance of plastic, it corresponds to the versatility of fibreglass, surpasses the lightness of aluminium, and surpasses traditional wood in terms of durability” as explained by the company that patented this material and collaborated with Arper for the conversion of Catifa.

Arper Catifa Carta
Photo credits: Alberto Sinigaglia

It is no coincidence that this is a Swedish start-up rooted in an area rich in forests which, however, over time, are undergoing intensive exploitation which could irreversibly modify the natural scenario.

In particular, the process that leads to the production of the Catifa Carta body involves the creation of a sort of origami made up of 29 sheets of paper held together by a resin, which is also natural.

The paper used comes from responsible sources and from the use of wood production waste such as sawdust, shavings and branches. In Sweden these wastes abound, precisely because the wood industry is highly developed.

Photo credits: Alberto Sinigaglia

Arper Catifa Carta

The production of Catifa Carta is therefore circular and virtuous and the same characteristics apply at the end of its life cycle since the chair can be disposed of through pyrolysis, a low temperature combustion in which carbon dioxide is retained and not released into the environment.

Furthermore, pyrolysis converts the PaperShell into biochar, a charcoal that can be used as a soil improver, a sort of natural fertilizer that makes the soil richer, promoting biodiversity. “For us, collaborating with partners – like Papershell – to cultivate innovative developments, is crucial to offering relevant solutions in today’s ever-evolving landscape.

By introducing pioneering materials and conscious practices we aspire to inspire change and become an example of responsible business” commented Roberto Monti, CEO of Arper.

Photo credits: Alberto Sinigaglia

In addition to taking a long step forward in the direction of circular production and therefore real and lasting sustainability, Catifa Carta retains its formal vocation and is available in two colors and three options for the base: the body is available in coffee and graphite while the structure can be composed of: 4 black steel legs, black and rust steel sled, black aluminum perch with or without wheels. Removable cushions and covers are also available.

In the panorama of the many productions labeled as sustainable Catifa Carta is undoubtedly one of the most revolutionary and complete projects and is preparing to become even more iconic than the original Catifa 53 as well as a virtuous model of collaboration between a historic Italian design company and a young Scandinavian start-up.

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