Milan Design Week 2023: Holloway Li’s Limited Edition “LIQUORICE” T4 Chair with Uma

A dazzling coupling of color and form at Alcova

Hundreds of brands sought to reimagine the humble chair for Milan Design Week 2023, each questioning traditional materials and infusing new ideas into the common item. Among them, London-based interior architecture and design studio Holloway Li (founded in 2018 by creative director Alex Holloway and managing director Na Li) debuted a dazzling coupling of color and form at Alcova with the “LIQUORICE” iteration of their curvaceous T4 chair, crafted with long-term collaborator and furniture fabrication pioneer Uma. Composed of a fiberglass composite with a reflective consistency and a luscious upholstery, the furniture piece (which easily transforms into a modular system) looks like an automotive interpretation of Salvador Dalí’s Lips Sofa.

This limited edition black release is a versatile update to Holloway Li’s debut furniture range, which began with Cream Soda, Melon Yellow, Blush Pink and Overground Orange color options. “We wanted to create a range inspired by ’90s nostalgia,” Holloway tells COOL HUNTING at Alcova. “It’s a big theme for us and a lot of our projects are exploring this. The two touch points we looked at were the inflatable furniture pieces we had as teenagers in the ’90s and the ‘Big Brother’ chair. That’s the genus.”

The specific texture of what Holloway refers to as the chair’s chassis is due to Uma’s automotive background. “We’ve done a lot of work with Uma,” Holloway says. “They are, traditionally, the manufacturers of automotive pieces. Their parent company does interiors for London buses. We are using the technology of automotive design but in a way that brings our furniture pieces to life.” The retro-futuristic furniture piece conversed with the decay of the former Porta Vittoria abattoir that housed Alcova this year—and from this contrast came an optimism that will easily contribute to any home or office.

Images by Steph Gallia

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