MENTIROSA CHAIR is the result of a dynamic collaboration between creativity and business know-how in a sort of participatory design between designers and production methodologies.


Over the past few years, Devoto Design has placed a lot of emphasis on the relationship between electronic processing, 3D solid modeling and fabrication.

Many resources have been employed. Many hours of work and experimentation to search for innovative solutions that could unite technical feasibility with market and design trends towards organic forms…

ONE OF OUR DREAMS has always been to allow architects to conceive highly creative solutions without having to worry about the feasibility of implementation … we take care of that!

Where the idea for the Mentirosa Chair comes from

So from the mind and pencil of the well-known architect and friend Filippo Francescangeli and the Devoto Research and Development Laboratory came the desire to carry out a feasibility study on the application of wood veneers on curved “solid surface”.

The goal was to create a new product of great aesthetic impact, combining the “warmth” and “flavor” of wood with the strength, versatility and moldability of “Solid Surface”, through the use of technology with high value and application content.

Hence the idea of the Mentirosa chair, from the Spanish, literally, “the liar,” but also “the cheater.”

WHY “MENTIROSA”? To emphasize that what you see often does not represent what it is: Mentirosa, apparently a comfortable wooden seat is, in fact, a Solid Surface armchair

Here are the main features defined in the design phase:

  • OUTDOOR seating
  • “EXTREME” and original design in double curvature
  • JOINTS completely absent
  • COMMISTION of several materials
  • REALIZATION on outline
  • CONTINUOUS SURFACE with variable section trend
  • PRODUCTION in a single piece

Mentirosa’s challenge: the coating

“Solid surface” is not usually coated or varnished, both because it is a finished product, very compact, imputrescible and because it is refractile to many products and glues.

OUR CHALLENGE? Exceed the basic requirements of the product. For the first time, the skin of a Solid Surface coating… is made of wood!

From feasibility study to prototype

The idea of this innovative design seat, initiated by the architect Francescangeli and our in-house architects, has been taken on board by a multi-disciplinary team which, through a technical and economic feasibility study, has analyzed:

  • Project COMPLEXITY
  • Experimental PROTOTYPING
  • REPEATABLE production process
  • USEFUL MATERIALS and surface finishes
  • LOGISTICS of production, storage, delivery
  • GANTT and budgeting

Our in-house Research and Development Laboratory was responsible for:

  • SELECTING the wood veneer to be applied on the “Solid surface”.
  • INDIVIDUING the right glue
  • EXASPERATING the pulls at the “tearing” of the wood from the surface well beyond the normal holding limits.

…AND WE DID NOT STOP until we got the seal result that we were fully satisfied with!

In a first brainstorming phase, the design team was asked to think and imagine a seat that would give free rein to their imagination and create an armchair with exaggerated shapes. We chose to start from the creation of the 3D model, optimizing it for the transition from solid modeling software to Cad-Cam applications for numerical control cutting.

The 5-axis CNC machining center and the piece coding system have then allowed first the simulation and then the production of a solid polystyrene 1:1 scale useful to verify dimensions, proportions and aesthetic impact of the seat.

The Mentirosa chair takes shape

At this point we moved on to the production of the wooden template for the countermold, carved from a solid made by gluing together chipboard panels until you get to build a solid of 150×150 cm and 60 cm high, then carved to accommodate the “Solid surface” thermoforming it in the mold with the wooden “skin” already applied.

A CURIOSITY ABOUT THE VARNISHING: After the chair was sanded, it was coated with transparent scratch-resistant parquet varnish in order to increase the surface resistance of the finish.

At the end of the process, we proceeded with assembly on the composite structure of the support base. And finally, to verify the correct fit of the seat during a shipment, we even simulated a shipment in a single ready-made package.

MENTIROSA CHAIR has aroused great interest on behalf of architects and architectural firms and has enjoyed considerable success among those in the industry in search of special custom-made furnishings, both in the hotel industry and in hall and reception settings with a strong architectural impact.

In this regard, we would like to thank the company ICOL srl, reseller of the material with which our seat is made, the “Corian”. Which chose to exhibit it in the stand we designed for the recent Genoa Boat Show 2021,

ICOL HAS EXHIBITED MENTIROSA as a design product capable of highlighting the characteristics of thermoformability and extreme versatility of “Corian”. 


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