The Chippensteel chair is from Oskar Zieta’s series “Pressure-formed Steel Furniture”, a collection of stools, chairs and tables created through FiDU (Freielnnen Druck Umformung) – or ‘free inner pressure deformation’. The manufacturing process, developed by Polish designer and engineer Oskar Zieta, is whereby flat, welded steel sheets are industrially inflated. This new process allows for the creation of complex, lightweight and weight-bearing forms while using only a minimal amount of material.
Oskar Zieta (Polish, born 1975) studied architecture before pursuing a PhD in computer-aided architectural design at the Eidgenössische
Technische Hochschule Zürich (eTh), where he now teaches. His thesis research led to the development of Fidu (Free inner Pressure Deformation), a process of inflating sheet metal into lightweight and sturdy objects that can be transported flat: “Before they are inflated 100 of my [Plopp] stools will fit
on a pallet, although if they were all blown up they would fill up a container.” In 2007 he founded his design company, Zieta Prozessdesign, as well as the manufacturing company Steelwerk Polska, which produces his line of inflated steel furniture and objects. Zieta has continued to research the applications of Fidu, and in 2008 built a footbridge with his students at eTh that could withstand over 4,000 pounds of weight— demonstrating its potential use in
architecture and engineering. Zieta won the red dot design award for his Plopp stool in 2008, and the German Design Council’s Young Professional of
the Year Award in 2009. in 2011 he was given the Audi Mentor Prize by A&W magazine. His work can be found in the permanent collections of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, and the Pinakothek der Modern in Munich.