The 8.0 chair is made of an ultra strong concrete, which allows the design to be extremely thin. So yes: you can really put all of your weight on the seat.
The chair is made using a mold, which the concrete is poured into (pics after the jump), so it exists of just one piece of pure material. How minimalist! It was designed by Omer Arbel, head of the Vancouver-based design practice Omer Arbel Office.
8.0 is an exploration of using the high strength concrete Ductal by Lafarge, conventionally used in large infrastructure applications, at the scale of furniture. Ductal relies on tiny organic strands for its tensile strength, and so does not require conventional steel reinforcing. The linear strands orient themselves in the direction of concrete flow, giving the concrete “grain” similar to wood. 8.0 chairs are cast on their side, with the concrete entering the mold at the hub and from there flowing into the starburst shape. This flow pattern ensures longitudinal orientation of the strands in the direction yielding maximum strength, allowing an extremely thin profile and cantilever for the seat and back.
Interesting detail: Arbel was recently awarded the commission to design the medals for the 2010 Winter Olympic in Vancouver. Talk about recognition!
Photography by Shannon Loewen