Using sustainable materials and bright colors to lead the way, Lebello is blurring the boundaries for indoor/outdoor furniture. We recently sat down with Lars Dahmann, the founder of Lebello, where he discussed his approach to designing for the outdoors and a detailed account of the fibers he uses to create his collection.
What is your approach to designing outdoor furniture?
When it comes to outdoor furniture there is a big misunderstanding. Too often we see traditional principals of furniture design applied to outdoor products: most outdoors products you purchase are boxes with a cushion in the center. But when you take the cushion away you have an object that no longer functions. That's not what we're about. From the very beginning we have blurred the boundaries of functional indoor/outdoor furniture. We were the first to bring color to the outdoor fiber market. We constantly try things that are new and mix materials in very interesting ways.
What are the benefits of using peel fibers for most of your products?
Our outdoor materials are made from High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) synthetic fibers. The material is UV- and weather- resistant and the fibers are characterized by their durability and performance during temperature fluctuations. The designs are also resistant to pool water, sea salt, and changes in climate. They're also low-maintenance, free of toxins and 100% recyclable.
How do you incorporate the use of these fabrics into your designs?
The Lebello brand is known for its innovative thinking and application of fibers. Most outdoor furniture brands have some sort of aluminum frame and they just try to cover up the frame with the fibers. For Lebello, the fibers are a tool we use to achieve a certain design or effect. For some designs, the fibers shape the products, on other designs the fibers have a function to create vertical ventilation and provide support and comfort.
How important is it to you to include environmentally-friendly elements in your designs?
This is very important to us. Aluminum is one of our main components in our products and it is made from 80% recycled aluminum. The powder-coated finish on the aluminum emits zero VOC and is 100% recycled. Our fibers are manufactured in an environmentally-friendly process that does not emit any VOC. In the end, our products are 100% recyclable and are non-toxic to the environment.
What's the best design advice you have ever received?
Believe in what you do with an approach of less is more.
What's the one design rule you always break?
We constantly try to do something new. We constantly try to push the boundaries of the materials and the complexity. Sometimes we have to cut back and start to think less is more again.