Based on original designs by the Canadian designer D.C. Simpson in 1946, variants of the one-piece plastic chair went into production with Allibert Group and Grosfillex Group in the 1970s. They were inspired by the Chair Universal 4867 design by Joe Colombo in 1965, but no patents were filed for a monobloc chair design. Since then, millions have been manufactured in countries including Russia, Taiwan, Australia, Mexico, the United States, Italy, France, Germany, Morocco, Turkey, Israel and China. The Monobloc chair is named because it is injection moulded from thermoplastic polypropylene, the granules being heated to about 220 degrees Celsius, and the melt injected into a mold. The gate of the mould is usually located in the seat, so ensuring smooth flow to all parts of the tool.
Close to a billion Monoblocs have been sold in Europe alone, with one Italian manufacturer producing over ten million a year. Many design variants of the basic idea exist. The chairs cost approximately $3.50 to produce, making them affordable across the world. The stackable design aids setting up large gatherings and storage of the chairs afterwards. In developing countries with high population growth, monoblocs are used to seat thousands of church attendees at a time. Social theorist Ethan Zuckerman describes them as having achieved a global ubiquity:
The Monobloc is one of the few objects I can think of that is free of any specific context. Seeing a white plastic chair in a photograph offers you no clues about where or when you are.
- "Is This the World's Most Famous Chair?". TreeHugger. Retrieved 2017-06-11.
- Rashid, Karim. "A brief history of the humble plastic chair". CNN. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
- Suzdaltsev, Jules (28 January 2015). "White Plastic Chairs Are Taking Over the World". VICE. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
- "Monobloc Chair: Joe Colombo and Vico Magistretti". Chairblog.eu. 27 December 2011. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
- Gosnell, Mariana (July 2004). "Everybody Take A Seat". Smithsonian.
- "the monobloc plastic chair". designboom. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
- HAMADA, Midori (4 April 2012). "A Cadeira Monobloco (The Monobloc Chair)". OBVIOUS Magazine (in Portuguese). Retrieved 10 June 2018.
- Niermann, Ingo (26 August 2004). "Ingo Niermann: Plastic Chair". functionalfate.org. Archived from the original on 21 January 2008. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
- Der Allgegenwärtige (The Omnipresent) in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. 30 April 2017, Page 53
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Monobloc (chair).|
- Designboom - History of the Monobloc
- Plastikstuhl - blog dedicated to Monobloc Chairs
- plasticchair.org – blog aiming to gather a monobloc plastic chair picture from every country
- Chair, Misunderstood: Learning to love a viral piece of furniture. - Podcast discussing history of the Monobloc by Gimlet Media
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