Cortiça Chaise Lounge by Daniel Michalik

Cortiça Chaise Lounge by Daniel Michalik available at Branch

Daniel Michalik is a Brooklyn based designer who explores the boundaries of unconventional materials. His focus is cork, though. Cork, as you probably know, is the bark that comes from a particular type of oak tree. The bark replaces itself every year and therefore can be sustainably harvested for use as stoppers in wine bottles, or in this case as furniture. Cork is often used as flooring material or as tack boards, but rarely have I see a designer use cork as a material for furniture in the way that Daniel Michalik has.

What blows me away about this chair is the form that Mr. Michalik is able to create with the cork. The construction technique is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The designer starts with the cork pressed into a sort of zig zag shape which gives the cork a great deal of flexibility. It appears that a form was created to give the cork its basic shape. Very similar to the way bent plywood is formed, the cork is layered up into three sheets, laminated together, and then pressed into shape before the laminate is dried. So, each layer of cork acts as a structure for the layer laminated to it which allows the piece to hold its shape.

The shape itself is sensuous, comfortable, and kind of dreamy, but modern as well. The piece, quite honestly looks delicate and sculptural and doesn’t appear to be able to hold the weight of the user, however it’s surprisingly strong. It’s also quite pliable, so it ballances very well the feeling of strength and comfort. I give it a big thumbs up.

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