Ross Lovegrove creates chair for Moroso using metal-pressing technology for cars

Diatom sofa by Ross Lovegrove

Milan 2014: British designer Ross Lovegrove has created an aluminium stacking chair for Italian furniture brand Moroso.

Diatom chair by Ross Lovegrove

The Diatom chair is made entirely from aluminium to make it suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, and can be stacked vertically without tipping forward.

“It is entirely computer generated, resulting in a universal geometry that is ergonomically neutral, lightweight and providing a vertical stack that is rarely achieved,” said Lovegrove, who wanted to explore contemporary aluminium-pressing technology developed by the car industry with this project.

Diatom chair by Ross Lovegrove

“My path in the designing of chairs is to embrace technologies that open up new possibilities and with this a commitment to exploring the moment where industrial investment can result in products that are aesthetically uplifting, long lasting and respectful of environmental issues yet economically accessible from a cultured design house to a wider audience,” Lovegrove added.

Each chair is produced in five stages: the first involves drawing aluminium, a process that involves using tensile forces to shape the metal.

Diatom chair by Ross Lovegrove

This is followed by a 3D laser-cutting stage, which defines the outer surface, and then another stage of drawing to create the inner parts including slots for the legs, all the raised elements and the outer edge. A fourth stage finishes off the seat and finishes the leg slots and the chair is then ready for its final assembly.

The idea for shape of the design was generated from “the beauty and logic of natural lightweight structures familiar to architects and marine biologists who study intelligent growth logic,” said Lovegrove.

Diatom chair by Ross Lovegrove

Its curved seat design is based on pieces of fossilised plankton that fascinated Lovegrove as a child, and the chair takes its name from one of these single celled organisms.

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using metal-pressing technology for cars
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Alessandro Mendini revisits Proust chair for marble exhibition

Milan 2014: Alessandro Mendini recreated his iconic Proust chair in marble for an exhibition of products shown by Italian company Robot City at Ventura Lambrate in Milan.

Alessandro Mendini marble Proust chair

Made for the Italian marble company’s Solid Spaces show, the new iteration of the Proust chair is an attempt to create an object with a “hyper-realist” appearance by using marble to create an “almost surreal” effect, said Robot City.

Alessandro Mendini marble Proust chair

Originally created in 1978, the Poltrona di Proust chair became Mendini’s best-known work. It was the first in a series known as Redesigns, which brought together his academic theories on the importance of historical context for design and the significance of surface appearances in a fast-moving world.

Alessandro Mendini marble Proust chair

The Proust chair was developed after Mendini stumbled across a copy of a Neo-baroque chair while researching ideas for a fabric pattern for Cassina, influenced by the work of French writer Marcel Proust. The original version of the chair was covered in a multicoloured fabric, with a pattern carried through in its hand-painted frame, enlarging and reproducing an artwork by Pointillist artist Paul Signac.

It was originally a one-off design, but its popularity led Mendini to produce variations in limited numbers.

Alessandro Mendini marble Proust chair

This marble version is one of four creations by different designers produced from a single 38.7-tonne block of white marble, excavated from a quarry owned by Robot City leader Gualtiero Vanelli.

The designs “give unexpected twists to the interchange between form, function, visual appearance, ergonomics, tradition and innovation”, said Robot City in a statement.

Alessandro Mendini marble Proust chair

“Each of them enhanced the expressive and functional potential of this ancient, fascinating material, transforming it into advanced contemporary expressions according to their personal style and language.”

The other three projects in the exhibition included shelves by Paolo Ulian, an undulating glass-topped table by Stefano Boeri, and a table with three rabbit-shaped chairs by Stefano Giovannoni.

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Doshi Levien bases Uchiwa armchair for Hay on a traditional Japanese fan

Milan 2014: London studio Doshi Levien has designed an armchair for Danish brand Hay with a curving high-backed seat that resembles a traditional Japanese fan.

Uchiwa for Hay in Milan

The Uchiwa chair by Doshi Levien takes its name and its rounded shape from a rigid hand-held fan, which is made from a circular piece of paper attached to a bamboo handle.

The chair’s moulded polyurethane shell is upholstered in either soft down with a quilted cover for use in domestic interiors or more durable moulded foam for the contract market.

Uchiwa for Hay in Milan

Designer Jonathan Levien told Dezeen that Hay gave the studio an open brief to create a comfortable armchair, with the condition that it should also be affordable.

“In a sense it was as free as any other project in creative terms, only we had to make a piece with economy of production in mind,” said Levien.

The designers spent seven months developing the product – focussing on refining the upholstery process to reduce the amount of stitching required and achieve the required affordability.

Uchiwa for Hay in Milan

“Most of the work in an upholstered piece goes into the stitching, so we found a way to minimise this while coming up with an expressive gesture through clever pattern cutting,” Levien explained.

The chair’s shell is injection moulded in a rounded shape ,with folds on the rear adding structure and creating sharp lines that contrast with the soft upholstery of the seat.

The expansive shell is supported by a compact oak frame that matches the curve on the underside of the seat and is also available in a stained grey finish.

Uchiwa for Hay in Milan
Designer Nipa Doshi reclines in an Uchiwa chair

An accompanying foot stool has also been developed and Doshi Levien is working with Hay to expand the Uchiwa collection by introducing a low back version of the chair.

Uchiwa was presented by Hay at their space during last week’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile. Doshi Levien also exhibited projects for several other manufacturers, including a collection of patterned rugs that reference tribal Indian embroidery, a cabinet resembling a multicoloured patchwork and a lounge chair with a woolly headrest.

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on a traditional Japanese fan
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Interview: Eames Demetrios: The grandson of famous designer couple Charles and Ray Eames on the colorful new update on their iconic shell chairs and his global art project

Interview: Eames Demetrios


In the garden of the Case Study House, Eames Demetrios—grandson of Charles and Ray Eames—settled in a shell chair to share stories of his family heritage and legacy, architectural preservation and the world travels he undertook…

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Doshi Levien’s Almora lounge chair for B&B Italia feels like being “wrapped in a soft, warm blanket”

Milan 2014: Anglo-Indian design duo Doshi Levien has created a lounge chair for B&B Italia based on memories of a trip to the Himalaya mountains in India (+ interview).

The Almora chair aims to recreate the experience of visiting a town of the same name in the Himalayan foothills.

“The idea of the chair really comes from this memory of seeing the snow-capped Himalayan peaks wrapped in a soft, warm blanket,” said Jonathan Levien.

Almora lounge chair by Doshi Levien for B&B Italia

“You are wrapped in the soft warm blanket so you enjoy the mountains but you are warm where you are,” added Nipa Doshi. “It was the idea of really capturing this in a piece.”

She added: “Of course at the end of the day it is a chair, but how do you replicate this feeling of being in the cold air but being warm? So I think that although the chair is open, it is also warm.”

The chair features a two-part conical plastic frame that forms the seat and back, plus a curved oak headrest that appears to balance on top of the frame.

Almora lounge chair by Doshi Levien for B&B Italia

The seat is upholstered in leather while the headrest is finished in shearling. The chair is mounted on a five-spoke aluminium swivel base and the accompanying ottoman has a round steel base and a curved wooden seat upholstered in leather.

The chair is the first product designed by Doshi Levien for Italian brand B&B Italia. It launched this week in Milan during the Salone del Mobile.

Here’s a short interview with the designers conducted in Milan:


Marcus Fairs: Tell us about the new lounge chair you’re showing today.

Nipa Doshi: The chair is called Almora. It is our new lounge chair for B&B Italia: two years in the making and designing. The idea of the chair really comes from this memory of seeing the snow-capped Himalayan peaks wrapped in a soft warm blanket.

Almora lounge chair by Doshi Levien for B&B Italia
First model of the Almora lounge chair

Jonathan Levien: What, the peaks are wrapped in soft warm blankets?

Nipa Doshi: No, you are wrapped in the soft warm blanket so you enjoy the mountains but you are warm where you are. And we imagined this chair almost to have the same feeling of warmth and comfort and to use the chair to enjoy the view outside and to sleep in; or equally to be with your children and read stories. It’s a chair very much to be alone in, but also to be with the family.

Marcus Fairs: What does Almora mean?

Nipa Doshi: Almora is the name of this place in India, in the Himalayan mountains.

Jonathan Levien: And where we were staying in the mountains was in this lodge, which had a really nice outdoor space. Indoor and outdoor were connected. We want to feel warm and secure in the place in which we are staying but very much engaged with our surroundings so the chair, in its gesture and form, is very open and it is almost like it is embracing not only the person sitting in it but also the view.

Almora lounge chair by Doshi Levien for B&B Italia
Concept model of the Almora lounge chair

Marcus Fairs: Is the chair really inspired by this village in the Himalayas? Or is it just a nice story?

Nipa Doshi: No, it is really. The materiality of the piece, you can see it is… the shearling, the leather. They are all materials that are very tactile, very human, living materials. It was the idea of really capturing this in a piece. Of course at the end of the day it is a chair, but how do you replicate this feeling of being in the cold air but being warm? So I think that although the chair is open, it is also warm.

Jonathan Levien: There has to be a starting point to every piece and for us it is a feeling. It is what do we want to evoke in the piece. We don’t come from a functional perspective. It is more from a sculptural point of view and that means thinking about the space in which it is going to be used and dreaming about that. But then of course that is only part of the project and the other part is what is the materiality of the chair? What is the technology, the structure? How are the parts composed? We are hiding the technology, we are trying to create a sense of overlapping forms and floating components and hide the technology. There are many strands to it and for us it helps to start with a dream, with a place, before it takes shape.

Almora lounge chair by Doshi Levien for B&B Italia
Concept model of the Almora lounge chair

Marcus Fairs: You are an Anglo-Indian couple and a lot of your work up to now has featured identifiable Indian motifs or forms. But this, if the story hadn’t been explained to me, I wouldn’t of thought of India and the mountains.

Nipa Doshi: But in a way I think it is not about India but about the mountains and I think it is more about nature. Almora was more a fictitious place; it could be Switzerland and the Alps. It can also be just looking at your garden. Many of us, even if we live in a city, have a very narrow view where we can have nature so it works in a home so the idea was very much about the experience you want to have in a home rather than a place as such.

Jonathan Levien: But, it is true also that the cultural aspect in our work is not as ostensible in this design in that you cannot see so clearly a partnership of Nipa and Jonathan in this design. It is not expressed in terms of a design-meets-a-decorative-graphic approach but I think it is very much a coming together of Nipa’s sense of visual identity and my ability to translate that into three-dimensions.

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feels like being “wrapped in a soft, warm blanket”
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Doshi Levien’s Almora lounge chair for B&B Italia feels like being “wrapped in a soft, warm blanket”

Milan 2014: Anglo-Indian design duo Doshi Levien has created a lounge chair for B&B Italia based on memories of a trip to the Himalaya mountains in India (+ interview).

The Almora chair aims to recreate the experience of visiting a town of the same name in the Himalayan foothills.

“The idea of the chair really comes from this memory of seeing the snow-capped Himalayan peaks wrapped in a soft, warm blanket,” said Jonathan Levien.

Almora lounge chair by Doshi Levien for B&B Italia

“You are wrapped in the soft warm blanket so you enjoy the mountains but you are warm where you are,” added Nipa Doshi. “It was the idea of really capturing this in a piece.”

She added: “Of course at the end of the day it is a chair, but how do you replicate this feeling of being in the cold air but being warm? So I think that although the chair is open, it is also warm.”

The chair features a two-part conical plastic frame that forms the seat and back, plus a curved oak headrest that appears to balance on top of the frame.

Almora lounge chair by Doshi Levien for B&B Italia

The seat is upholstered in leather while the headrest is finished in shearling. The chair is mounted on a five-spoke aluminium swivel base and the accompanying ottoman has a round steel base and a curved wooden seat upholstered in leather.

The chair is the first product designed by Doshi Levien for Italian brand B&B Italia. It launched this week in Milan during the Salone del Mobile.

Here’s a short interview with the designers conducted in Milan:


Marcus Fairs: Tell us about the new lounge chair you’re showing today.

Nipa Doshi: The chair is called Almora. It is our new lounge chair for B&B Italia: two years in the making and designing. The idea of the chair really comes from this memory of seeing the snow-capped Himalayan peaks wrapped in a soft warm blanket.

Almora lounge chair by Doshi Levien for B&B Italia
First model of the Almora lounge chair

Jonathan Levien: What, the peaks are wrapped in soft warm blankets?

Nipa Doshi: No, you are wrapped in the soft warm blanket so you enjoy the mountains but you are warm where you are. And we imagined this chair almost to have the same feeling of warmth and comfort and to use the chair to enjoy the view outside and to sleep in; or equally to be with your children and read stories. It’s a chair very much to be alone in, but also to be with the family.

Marcus Fairs: What does Almora mean?

Nipa Doshi: Almora is the name of this place in India, in the Himalayan mountains.

Jonathan Levien: And where we were staying in the mountains was in this lodge, which had a really nice outdoor space. Indoor and outdoor were connected. We want to feel warm and secure in the place in which we are staying but very much engaged with our surroundings so the chair, in its gesture and form, is very open and it is almost like it is embracing not only the person sitting in it but also the view.

Almora lounge chair by Doshi Levien for B&B Italia
Concept model of the Almora lounge chair

Marcus Fairs: Is the chair really inspired by this village in the Himalayas? Or is it just a nice story?

Nipa Doshi: No, it is really. The materiality of the piece, you can see it is… the shearling, the leather. They are all materials that are very tactile, very human, living materials. It was the idea of really capturing this in a piece. Of course at the end of the day it is a chair, but how do you replicate this feeling of being in the cold air but being warm? So I think that although the chair is open, it is also warm.

Jonathan Levien: There has to be a starting point to every piece and for us it is a feeling. It is what do we want to evoke in the piece. We don’t come from a functional perspective. It is more from a sculptural point of view and that means thinking about the space in which it is going to be used and dreaming about that. But then of course that is only part of the project and the other part is what is the materiality of the chair? What is the technology, the structure? How are the parts composed? We are hiding the technology, we are trying to create a sense of overlapping forms and floating components and hide the technology. There are many strands to it and for us it helps to start with a dream, with a place, before it takes shape.

Almora lounge chair by Doshi Levien for B&B Italia
Concept model of the Almora lounge chair

Marcus Fairs: You are an Anglo-Indian couple and a lot of your work up to now has featured identifiable Indian motifs or forms. But this, if the story hadn’t been explained to me, I wouldn’t of thought of India and the mountains.

Nipa Doshi: But in a way I think it is not about India but about the mountains and I think it is more about nature. Almora was more a fictitious place; it could be Switzerland and the Alps. It can also be just looking at your garden. Many of us, even if we live in a city, have a very narrow view where we can have nature so it works in a home so the idea was very much about the experience you want to have in a home rather than a place as such.

Jonathan Levien: But, it is true also that the cultural aspect in our work is not as ostensible in this design in that you cannot see so clearly a partnership of Nipa and Jonathan in this design. It is not expressed in terms of a design-meets-a-decorative-graphic approach but I think it is very much a coming together of Nipa’s sense of visual identity and my ability to translate that into three-dimensions.

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feels like being “wrapped in a soft, warm blanket”
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UNStudio’s Gemini chair “allows a variety of seating positions” for working or lounging

Milan 2014: Dutch architecture firm UNStudio has revealed a chair with an S-shaped seat that allows its user to move from sitting upright to relaxing with a leg up (+ slideshow).

Gemini collection by UNStudio for Artifort

Part of UNStudio‘s Gemini collection for Dutch brand Artifort, the asymmetric chair was designed to let sitters “sit up, slouch, lounge, hang, repose or hunker”, as well as to “shift, twist, turn, swing around, pivot to face each other or turn towards the room.”

Gemini collection by UNStudio for Artifort

Set upon an asymmetric frame, the body of the chair curves towards the floor on one side and arches upwards to form both an arm and a backrest on the other. This shape allows a user to sit in a variety of different positions.

Gemini collection by UNStudio for Artifort

“The main concept for the Gemini design is versatility,” Ben van Berkel, co-founder of UNStudio, told Dezeen.

“We approached this not only in terms of where the chairs can be used, but also in terms of how. The shape of the chair allows for a wide variety of seating positions and therefore also for variety in perspectives and views of the spaces in which it is placed.”

Gemini collection by UNStudio for Artifort

The chair is available in two varieties: one curving to the left and the other to the right. The seat shell is made with a metal insert that is padded with foam, covered with Dacron and upholstered with a stretch fabric. There are four types of upholstery available, in two different blues, beige and orange.

The Gemini collection also includes a small matching side table. This features a metal frame, upholstered sides and a tabletop made of solid oak.

Gemini collection by UNStudio for Artifort
Concept diagram

The chairs are on display in Pavilion 16, F30 at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, Milan.

Here’s a project description from UNStudio:


Gemini, Artifort (Schijndel, NL) 2014

Gemini for Artifort has been designed as individual furniture pieces which can be placed as single seating elements, in pairs or in groups of various sizes and configurations. The concept for the design of the chair centers on flexibility of movement, versatility in seating positions and variety in spatial experiences.

Gemini collection by UNStudio for Artifort
Concept diagram

Set upon an asymmetric frame, the generously proportioned single-surface body of the chair curves towards the floor on one side and arches upwards to form both an arm and a backrest on the other. This contoured composition affords the user variety in seating positions and directionality: they can sit up, slouch, lounge, hang, repose or hunker, but they can also shift, twist, turn, swing around, pivot to face each other or turn towards the room.

Spatially Gemini introduces varying visual orientations of the spaces in which the chairs are placed and offers the possibility to choose between sitting alone, sitting together or simply enjoying different views of the surrounding space. When coupled with either its direct twin or its mirrored twin, the nonsymmetrical silhouette of both the frame and the soft element transforms to create a curvilinear symmetry.

Gemini collection by UNStudio for Artifort
Elevations

The horizontally subdivided soft body of the chairs can be upholstered in up to three ways in one or two colours, from a choice of many different shades. Gemini can be used in private, public and semi-public settings, such as waiting areas, lobbies, offices, lounge areas and libraries.

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Fairytale-inspired chair shrouds the sitter with a red hood

Milan 2014: German designer Hanna Emelie Ernsting has developed a chair with an integrated red blanket that wraps around the sitter like Little Red Riding Hood’s cape (+ slideshow).

Red Riding Hood chair Hanna Emelie Ernsting Milan

Designed by Hanna Emelie Ernsting and called Red Riding Hood, the piece is a round-backed, grey armchair with a grey and red blanket attached around and under the seat.

Red Riding Hood chair Hanna Emelie Ernsting Milan

When there isn’t a sitter the blanket falls, grey side down, over the back of the seat. When someone sits in it they can draw the blanket around them like a cape.

Red Riding Hood chair Hanna Emelie Ernsting Milan

“Evenings are the time for stories, dreams and fairytales,” said Ernsting. “After a strenuous workday, we long to escape for a time from everyday life and lose ourselves in the world of a book or film. These contrasting circumstances underlie the design of this armchair.”

Red Riding Hood chair Hanna Emelie Ernsting Milan

“The chair reinterprets these two facets of day and evening, work and leisure time, reality and fairyland, waking and dreaming – the rational and the whimsical,” she added.

Red Riding Hood chair Hanna Emelie Ernsting Milan

The material used is loden, a traditional German-Austrian woven wool fabric that is often used for coats because of its water and dirt-resistant qualities.

Red Riding Hood chair Hanna Emelie Ernsting Milan

The armchair is on show in hall 13 booth D27 at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan.

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David Adjaye shows Washington Collection for Knoll in new colours

Milan 2014: architect David Adjaye is showing his debut furniture collection for Knoll in Milan this week, which is now available in new colours.

David Adjaye Washington chair chair collection for Knoll Milan 2014
David Adjaye with the Washington collection

The Washington Collection for Knoll was originally launched in October and includes two cantilevered side chairs called the Skin and the Skeleton.

David Adjaye Washington chair chair collection for Knoll Milan 2014
Skeleton chair

The collection is very much an exploration of the “body in space” – but on a smaller scale than my architectural work,” said Adjaye.

David Adjaye Washington chair chair collection for Knoll Milan 2014
Skeleton chair

“Knoll has always had an amazing ability to produce furniture that is a distillation of the zeitgeist of the age – it was this relationship between life, space and objects that resonated with my own work. Finding specific conditions, amplifying them and making them aesthetic while giving them the potential to be part of our world is what I am interested in,” he added.

David Adjaye Washington chair chair collection for Knoll Milan 2014
Skeleton chair

The Washington Skin Chair is cast in three parts using injection-moulded nylon, reinforced with glass. The shell and legs are then joined using mortise and tenon joinery and stainless steel fasteners. The legs are reinforced with an aluminium brace that is covered with nylon.

David Adjaye Washington chair chair collection for Knoll Milan 2014
Skin chair

The Washington Skeleton chair is made form die cast aluminium and, like the Skin chair, is cast in three parts and joined using steel fasteners. It comes in various durable painted colours or a copper plated version that allows the chair to tarnish with age.

David Adjaye Washington chair chair collection for Knoll Milan 2014
Skin chair

“We worked very closely with Knoll’s technical team and it was a fascinating learning curve,” explained Adjaye.

David Adjaye Washington chair chair collection for Knoll Milan 2014
Copper-plated Skeleton chair

“Making production furniture is very different to creating objects – and it is not something I had done before,” added Adjaye. “The furniture went through many iterations, studies and tests. To make the cantilevered legs, for example, Knoll developed the material technology to allow the back to flex and the T-junction in the legs has a metal insert to resist stress. As a result, the chair’s form is minimal, yet can withstand 300lb.”

David Adjaye Washington chair chair collection for Knoll Milan 2014
Skeleton chairs

The chairs are on show at the Piazza Bertarelli, Milan. Knoll is also showing new collaborations with London-based designers, Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby, alongside a selection of recently updated pieces by designers, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Florence Knoll, Eero Saarinen, Tobia Scarpa and Marcel Breuer.

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for Knoll in new colours
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Radar chairs by Claesson Koivisto Rune channel conversation

Milan 2014: Swedish design studio Claesson Koivisto Rune has launched a range of chairs with winged backrests designed to create a “room within a room” in Milan this week.

Radar chairs by Claesson Koivisto Rune

The Radar Easy chair collection was created for the Italian furniture company Casamania and consists of four pieces, the largest being a chair with a winged back rest designed to create a “radar” effect between two people facing each other.

Radar chairs by Claesson Koivisto Rune

“The backs create different levels of privacy like a room-within-a-room,” Mårten Claesson from Claesson Koivisto Rune told Dezeen. “The largest and widest back also creates a personal space and silence for the sitter. In a facing pair, your conversation is contained between the two “radars”.”

Radar chairs by Claesson Koivisto Rune

Each chair has been cast into an upholstered foam-frame with an optional swivel base. They come in various colours and fabrics – including leather – depending on the client’s preferences.

Radar chairs by Claesson Koivisto Rune

Mårten Claesson said the chairs were “not limited for contract use” and could be used in either a home or an office, in breakout rooms or lobbies.

Radar chairs by Claesson Koivisto Rune
Product development concept of the Radar Easy chair collection

They are on show in Hall 16 Stand D 39 in Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan this week.

Radar chairs by Claesson Koivisto Rune
Sketch of the Radar Easy chair collection

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channel conversation
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