Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hayley: Chair Design

DONNA UP5, 1969
Gaetano Pesce
Production: B & B Italia
Materials: Moulded polyurethane foam, fabric

Gaetano Pesce is an architect/artist/designer based in New York. He has undertaken various commissions in architecture, urban planning, interior and exhibition design and publishing. His body of work is recognized for it's emotive and tactile qualities, unrestrained use of colour and insistence upon innovative use of materials developed through new technologies. He works by his own guiding principle that modernism is less a style than a method for interpreting the present and prescribing a future in which individuality is preserved and celebrated. Taking on a broad and all encompassing approach to design, Pesce accomplishes an astonishing freedom of expression. Pesce's work is characterized by it's success as both art and functional objects.The political dimension of his projects, the provocation, the use and improvement of synthetic materials, the culture of the objects, as well as the theory of femininity are common themes through all his work, including furniture design.

One of the most common elements, as is found in the Donna UP5, is the human form. This chair, covered with colourful stretch fabric, suggests the roundness of the female form, perhaps reflecting his own view of women.
" They have always been, against their own wills, prisoners of themselves."
The small round footrest mimics a prisoner's ball
and chain. It was available in a range of brightly coloured fabrics.

This piece of furniture could be bought flat-packed and vacuum sealed in PVC. The chair literally sprang to life once the vacuum seal was broken. Pesce titled this series of furniture "Transformation Furniture" as it could be compressed to a 1/10 of its size for packaging. Through his quest to seek new materials that would fit into the logic of construction, Pecse tried to communicate feelings of optimism, surprise, stimulation and femininity. This often gave rise to uproar and controversy and this piece itself was regarded as uncompromisingly radical.

Other designs of
Pesce's that I am impressed wi
th are:
  • The Dalila Chair,1992.Constructed with rigid polyurethane and epoxide resin.
  • The 543 Broadway Chair,1992. Constructed with metal, steel, urethane and epoxide resin.
Gaetano Pesce Links:
gaetano pesce . interview with the italian designer and architect
Gaetano Pesce
DolceVita Design: Italian Designers Portraits - Gaetano Pesce
Torso, 1982
Designer: Paolo
Cassina, Ita
Materials: Steel, polyurethane foam, polyester

Paolo Deganella is one of the founding members of the Archizoom Associati design studio in Florence. He is both an artist and an architect. His activities as a designer have always been accompanied by critical participation in the problems of design. His works reveal a strong expressive theme, a study in the very meaning of design. Characteristic of his design process is the effort to achieve a complete resolution of practical and theoretical design. Deganello proposes a conception of design as an intellectual activity, as a practical application of design ruled by one thought, with constant reflection on the centre of the political issue of the work itself, the design of objects destined for dialogue and social comment.

The Torso Chair is typical of the post-modernist Italian furniture of the early 1980's. With bold colors and blowzy patterns reminiscent of the 1950's suburbia, it celebrates the kitch that had been ridiculed by the rationalists of modern design. Composed of interchangeable parts, it could be adapted to meets the needs of it's user. Some components could be removed altogether, like the side table. This gave it the versatility in furniture that was rare at the time.

With it's asymmetric design, steel skeletal frame, padded with CFC-free polyurethane foam and polyester padding, this design from Deganello was both attractive and comfortable. Deganello researched comfortable design in the early 70's which resulted in the creation of the AEO chair. This theme of comfort pervaded his furniture design. Deganello was also in the habit of showcasing the individual structural elements by using different materials for them. The Torso chair was upholstered in leather or fabric and the seat and the back were able to be upholstered in different fabrics for this purpose.

Other designs of
Deganello's that I was impressed with are:
  • The AEO Chair, 1973. Constructed with steel, polyurethane foam and polyester padding.
  • The Documenta Chair,1987. Constructed with leather, wicker, brass, metal and laminated wood.

Paolo Deganello Links:
paolo deganello
Cassina Designers

1 comment:

  1. Amazing design!! Check out the wide range of modern chair design from