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Chair - Branca


  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Italy (made)

  • Date:

    2010 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Hecht, Sam (designer)
    Colin, Kim (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mattiazzi

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Furniture, Room 134, The Dr Susan Weber gallery, case BY1, shelf EXP

The Branca chair was designed by London-based studio Industrial Facility in 2010. Manufactured in Italy by the firm Mattiazzi, the chair combines high-tech robotic manufacturing techniques with hand-, tool- and machine-making. The chair is a particularly interesting example of the ways in which contemporary furniture designers can combine digital processes with more traditional methods.

Physical description

This chair is made from seven parts of unstained waxed ash. All pieces are joined with wooden dowels and some glue. The parts that make up the chair are as follows: two back uprights, which are one piece with the back legs; two armrests, which are one piece with the front legs; a back-rest; a seat; a cross-piece that supports the seat.

Place of Origin

Italy (made)


2010 (made)


Hecht, Sam (designer)
Colin, Kim (designer)

Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions

M (in square), C (in square), 2 (in circle)
stamp on underside of supporting cross under seat


Height: 84 cm, Depth: 55.1 cm, Width: 56.8 cm

Object history note

The Branca chair was designed by London-based studio Industrial Facility. Industrial Facility was founded by Sam Hecht and Kim Colin in 2002. The chair, whose design was inspired by the branches of a tree, is manufactured in Italy by Mattiazzi.

The Branca chair won the Design Museum's Furniture Design of the Year award in 2011. It also won the Habitare Award in Helsinki in 2011.

Descriptive line

Branca chair, designed by Industrial Facility (Sam Hecht and Kim Colin) and manufactured by Mattiazzi, Italy

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Hecht, Sam and Colin, Kim. 'What we think about when we think about wood (Branca revisited)' in Modern Design Review, Spring/Summer 2014

Labels and date

‘Branca’ chair
Designed by Industrial Facility

Manufactured by Mattiazzi, Udine
Ash, waxed

Given by Mattiazzi
Museum no. W.18-2011

Complex forms and joints can be produced using computer-controlled robots. For each back upright of this chair, an 8-axis robotic arm cut, shaped and drilled a pre-shaped piece of wood. Traditional hand and factory methods were used to make the other parts, to finish the chair and to assemble it using wooden dowels.

Production Note

The chair was manufactured using a combination of robotic making, making with machine tools, and handwork. The block of wood that forms the back leg and upright, which supports the critical joints of the armrest, seat and back, is the most complex part of the chair. This piece was first cut with a machine saw, then sanded and further shaped by a computer-controlled oscillating spindle sander, and finally worked by an 8-axis, computer-controlled (CNC) robotic arm. This arm, fitted with eight different tools, further cut, carved, drilled, routed and sanded the upright.

A video showing the process by which the chair was made can be seen on the V&A's website: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/videos/h/video-how-was-it-made-the-branca-chair/








Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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