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Los Angeles freeways inspire Jeni Tu’s curvy new Linea chair

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Few would revel in sitting in gridlock a single moment more than necessary, but Jeni Tu’s new Linea chair just might bring a little appreciation for L.A.'s freeways. Introduced recently at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York, the Linea chair takes its inspiration from aerial views of L.A.’s freeway system.

“I was interested in exploring how a continuous 2-D strip of material can become a 3-D form,’ Tu said, which then led to thoughts about how freeways curve and twist over and under themselves.

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Tu, 32, grew up in San Diego, studied literature at Harvard and began pursuing a career in design three years ago. Her Linea is made of powder-coated steel topped with a Wilsonart walnut laminate. The chair’s surprise pop of cherry red may remind some of Christian Louboutin’s signature red undersoles. For Tu, it references the endless ribbon of freeway taillights.

Could the Linea chair ever make it into your living room? That depends: ICFF presents young designers with an opportunity to gauge interest not only from retailers, but also from architects, decorators and even prop stylists -- all before pieces are actually put into production. So far, Tu said, feedback has been positive -- and quite possibly sufficient to get the piece in the manufacturing fast lane. Updates on Linea and Tu’s other projects can be found on her website. Corrected: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said Manolo Blahnik shoes had the red undersoles. We’re blushing Louboutin red.

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