Design icons: 8 timeless pieces of furniture

25 March 2022

maralunga by cassina

From the Atollo lamp to the Maralunga sofa, a selection of timeless furniture, authentic objects of desire for every design enthusiast.

Furnishings that are steeped in history, deeply tied to the period in which they were conceived and immortal at the same time. Timeless icons that tell a story of genius and high craftsmanship that has been handed down from generation to generation.

Falkland Lamp by Bruno Munari for Artemide

The dynamic Bruno Munari has assembled a tube of white elastic mesh and some metal rings to create the original Falkland, available in different sizes and in the suspension and floor versions. A simple tubular knit that becomes light and sculpture around some basic metal rings. It is the fruit of the master’s ability to ‘see beyond’ which has always intrigued me. The lamp is light, easy to transport and assemble.

Wassily Chair by Marcel Breuer for Knoll

Marcel Breuer created this icon in 1925, in full Bauhaus spirit, honoring painter Vasilij Kandinskij. He used the 20mm tubular metal, which was a staple of those years, perhaps inspired by his own bicycle. The original idea was to build an armchair with readily available material and work with less material for the seat, back and armrests, using strips of leather. 

Atollo Lamp by Vico Magistretti for Oluce

Atollo’s precise geometry comes from the combination of different solids: the cylinder, the cone and the hemisphere. Created for Oluce by Vico Magistretti in 1977, it revolutionized the way of conceiving the classic bedside lamp.

Frate Table by Enzo Mari

The Frate table was designed by Enzo Mari and has been produced by Driade since 1973. It represents the archetype of the table based on simple elements. The structure recalls the scheme of the triangle and the interaction of forces it produces. It is made of basic and semi-finished materials that can be assembled to measure.

Lamps by the Castiglioni brothers for Flos

Arco, Taccia, Toio and Snoopy: these are four iconic lamps designed by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni for Flos between 1962 and 1967. The Arco lamp, which is part of the permanent collection at the Triennale in Milan and MoMa in New York, was the first arc lamp ever made. Taccia is characterized by a totally innovative design: a very unconventional shape and a bulky, yet delicate, figure. Toio is the misspelling of Toy and refers to the United States, from where the car headlight that characterizes this floor lamp was originally imported. Snoopy was inspired by the silhouette of the famous little dog created in the 1950s by Charles M. Schulz. The playful inspiration is balanced by the choice of plain materials: Carrara marble for the base and a painted metal reflector.

Maralunga Sofa by Vico Magistretti for Cassina

The Maralunga sofa, designed by Vico Magistretti in 1973, is a classic of Made in Italy design and a transformative piece of furniture. Characterized by the peculiar folding backrest, the designer conceived it with the sinuous movement of a bicycle chain in mind.

Bo Bardi Bowl Chair

The Bowl Chair was designed by Italian-Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi in 1951: a hemispherical seat resting on a metal ring structure, supported by four legs. The simplicity of the Bowl Chair’s contours recalls Lina Bo Bardi’s love of plain, functional, organic forms that blend harmoniously into any setting.

Superleggera by Gio Ponti for Cassina

A historical object and a collectible, this light and thin chair weighs just 1.7 kg. Its distinctive style has made it a timeless symbol of Italian design excellence. The project dates back to 1957, but the final prototype was developed after eight years.

Flos Arco
Arper Bardi’s Bowl Chair
Oluce Atollo Gold
OLuce Atollo 233
Artemide Falkland
Flos Snoopy
Flos Toio
Flos Taccia
Driade Frate Table
Driade Frate Table
Knoll Wassily Chair
Cassina 699 Superleggera
Cassina 675 Maralunga Three Seater
Cassina 675 Maralunga Three Seater

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