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One Block Down x Cassina “Floating Opposites”

For its latest project, retailer One Block Down collaborates with Cassina — the internationally renowned Italian brand characterized by its iconic/ground-breaking furniture designs. Cassina’s work is revered by countless creatives that operate in several fields, from music and cinema to fashion and art.

The pair have joined to develop a unique interpretation of Gerrit T. Rietveld’s iconic Zig-Zag chair, creating a collection of just 30 pieces available at One Block Down that is presented during Milan Design Week.

The Zig-Zag chair initially came to life in the early 1930s, when the Dutch architect Gerrit T. Rietveld was commissioned to create a seat for mass production. It was the first of its kind – a cantilevered form constructed from steel strips covered with a single sheet of fiberboard. Rietveld soon realized that the fiberboard was not sturdy enough, so the next model was developed from steel and plywood.

Rietveld’s work is defined by continuous experimentation and he designed several jointless chairs that were made from a single piece of material. The brilliant Dutch architect, particularly known for his involvement in the Neoplasticism movement, designed and proposed numerous variations of his most acclaimed models, including the Zig-Zag chair. The rhythmic sequence of the reversed Z shape emphasizes the relationship between its vertical, oblique and horizontal lines. This graphic rhythm and separation of structural elements are recurrent themes in Rietveld’s work.

For its rendition of the storied object, One Block Down explores its history, drawing inspiration from its seemingly unstable form. At first glance, the cantilevered seat, which eschews the traditional legs-seat-back sequence, appears as though it could never be structurally sound, yet its dove-tail joints anchor it faultlessly. One Block Down evolves this notion further through an installation – a 30-chair pyramid that looks precarious while, in reality, is anything but.

The limited-edition iteration of the iconic structure features metal added from an aesthetic point of view. The Zig-Zag’s distinctive shape remains intact in this special production for One Block Down. The chair’s iconic wooden structure is overlaid with sheet metal panels and while these two opposing materials keep their natural feel, light manipulates its raw surfaces to create a sinuous form that almost seems to change shape.

The collaboration Zig-Zag chair is now available for pre-order at One Block Down. And if you’re in Italy, you can visit the unique installation, in Milan, from June 8th to June 12th, from 10AM to 8PM, on Via Agnello 13.

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