Prism is the latest assortment of furniture designed for Knoll by David Adjaye, the critically acclaimed British-Ghanian architect who won the Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts this year.
Comprising three lounge pieces — Lounge Chair, Ottoman and Side Table — Prism joins previous designs by Adjaye — Washington Skeleton Aluminum Side Chair, Washington Skin Nylon Side Chair and Washington Corona Coffee Table — completing The Washington Collection for Knoll. Each form consists of a glossy core laminate shell—available in red, white or black—which appears in contrast with the softness of the upholstered surfaces on the lounge chair and ottoman. The Side Table is available in five marble top finishes: Arabescato, Calacutta, Nero, Marquina and Verdi Alpi.
Continuing Adjaye’s fascinations with the interplay of form and light, Prism’s design draws on Adjaye’s developed architectural vocabulary, adapting it for the urban scale.
“The formal language is shared with some of the buildings I am currently working on,” says Adjaye. “There is a common line of inquiry, and it has presented an opportunity to express my position in terms of materials, silhouettes and forms.” The collection’s multifaceted forms are inspired by how natural geometries occupy space, giving presence or absence to an environment.
“Prism explores a number of common themes with other pieces in The Washington Collection, such as monumentality, materiality and history,” says Adjaye, “relating specifically to the focus of my [architectural] work at that time.”
Among those themes is that of mass and heft. “The idea of suspending the body in space by the lightest possible means was explored by the Skin and Skeleton chairs,” Adjaye explains. “With Prism, I was seeking something very different. I wanted to reference the weight and mass of the idea of monument and I sought to celebrate the material presence of these forms.” The Lounge Chair includes a surprising twist: it swivels. The detail brings unexpected lightness to the heavy form.