Knoll Designer Jonathan Olivares Spotlighted in Core77 Design Entrepreneurs Series

Design of the Olivares Aluminum Chair Highlighted

July 11, 2013

The design of the Olivares Aluminum Chair, designed by Jonathan Olivares for Knoll, is highlighted in Core77.  The interview with Jonathan Olivares is part of Core77 Design Entrepreneurs series, which profiles American designers to understand “how they got where they are, what they do all day, and what advice they have for other designers running their own businesses."

The Olivares Aluminum Chair, constructed of cast aluminum, is the result of a rigorous prototyping process and two years of research.  Specifically, fifty prototypes of the Olivares Aluminum Chair were produced before the chair was introduced.  “Los Angeles is the largest industrial center in the U.S., and you can basically get anything made here fast, cheap and with a smile. We have great aluminum foundries out here."

Jonathan Olivares launched his company, Jonathan Olivares Design Research, in 2006 “in his mother's garage in Boston less than 18 months out of Pratt Institute's industrial design program.” He had just returned from a post-graduate apprenticeship in Munich, determined to start a business focused on client relationships. "I like the idea of serial production and of getting something that's the result of advanced technology and getting it at a good price and making lots of them." Olivares said.

While on assignment for Domus magazine writing about the state of the U.S. furniture industry, Olivares met Knoll design director Benjamin Pardo, who asked him to research the history of the office chair. The result of two years of traveling and research was the basis for the book, A Taxonomy of Office Chairs, which was published in 2011.

The Olivares Aluminum Chair, whose design was informed by Olivares’ research, is appropriate for both indoor and outdoor use. The chair’s meticulously executed design and gracefully contoured form is carefully shaped to offer maximum comfort in a broad palette of bright and contemporary colors.