When design is inspired by sport

10 February 2023

sella zanotta

Sporty furnishings and accessories with a sophisticated touch

Passion and lifestyle: sport offers moments of joy and exaltation to those who practice it or follow it as a spectator. To each his own discipline, whether meditative or dynamic, what matters is to activate the communication between the mind and the body to bring well-being to both. The will to adopt a sporting discipline can also come from the outside, for example from furnishings and accessories whose design is inspired by a detail stolen from the sports world. A material, a shape, sometimes a structural element that is lent from the athletic context to the design one thanks to the creative interpretation of the designer.

Sella by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni for Zanotta

It is 1957 and in Italian homes the only telephone is installed on the wall. The Castiglioni brothers imagine Sella (on the cover) as a stool to lean on while chatting and are inspired by a sporting suggestion: the Giro d’Italia. That’s why the stem is pink and the seat is an authentic bicycle saddle. The base is a cast iron hemisphere and allows for a tilting movement. The invitation to move is total as well as the cue for a smile.

sella zanotta

Cicloitalia Flex by Enzo Catellani for Catellani&Smith

The Cicloitalia lamp by Catellani&Smith is also inspired by the world of cycling. It has a flexible structure on which a sort of light is installed with slender lines that are evocative and retro but elegant and dynamic at the same time.

cicloitalia catellani smith

Joe by De Pas, D’Urbino, Lomazzi for Poltronova

From a baseball icon to a design icon: in 1970 the group of designers De Pas, D’Urbino, Lomazzi fascinated by pop culture, decided to design this eccentric seat as a tribute to Joe Di Maggio. And here, with a game of scale, the baseball glove becomes giant and turns into an enveloping armchair on wheels.

Joe by Poltronova

Veliero by Franco Albini for Cassina

Franco Albini had the first Veliero bookcase made for his Milanese home and perhaps while observing it he got lost imagining that he was plowing the waves aboard a sailing vessel, of which this piece of furniture evokes masts and stays. Veliero is not only an image but also a function: it is ideal in the center of the room, to mark the spaces of a hybrid environment, allowing light and air to circulate.

veliero by cassina

Vermelha by Fernando and Humberto Campana for Edra

Remaining in the nautical field, we cannot fail to mention the Vermelha armchair imagined by the Campana brothers and produced by Edra, a company that has made formal experimentation its distinctive element. The seat is the result of the interweaving of about 500 meters of rope, with an acrylic core, installed on a base frame.

verlmelha by edra

Dharma by Studiopepe for Baxter

Those who prefer yoga practice are familiar with the concept of shavasana, the final position of each session in which the body welcomes and elaborates the movement made. A moment of relaxation that the Dharma outdoor bench could welcome with ease, inviting you to enjoy a pause for contemplation.

dharma by baxter

Touch Down Unit by Studio Klass for Molteni & C.

Touchdown in American football is the try that delivers 6 points. And this project by Studio Klass is a winner for a workstation suitable, in its style, also for a hybrid domestic context devoted to informal moments and work sessions.

touch down by molteni

Ali by Giorgetti

Sometimes sport is not only a formal inspiration for the furnishing elements but also the goal. This is the case of the Ali training bag by Giorgetti, a very elegant version of this recurring gym accessory, useful for a home training session, without looking bad in a sophisticated living area.

Ali Giorgetti

Dada by Basaglia + Rota Nodari for Fas Pendezza

Convivial and playful, Dada is a large dining table at which 16 diners can gather. But with the insertion of the net, it transforms in an instant into a table tennis without losing its refined style, characterized by the two conical bases on which the wooden top rests.


The Fusion Table is also a hybrid piece of furniture which transforms from a dining table, with a surprise effect, into a pool table. Ideal element to continue an evening with friends, well after dinner, sharing a moment of play and joy.

fusion table

RS2 by RS Barcelona

RS2 was created with the intention of adapting the design of the classic table football to an elegant domestic context. “Transfer it from the garage to the living room” says the company choosing materials, colors, lines and refined details without losing the pure fun of the game.

rs2 rsbarcelona
Catellani & Smith CicloItalia Flex
Zanotta Sella
Zanotta Sella
FAS Pendezza Dada
Baxter Dharma Outdoor Daybed
FusionTables FusionTables
RS Barcelona RS2 Football Table
Giorgetti Ali Punching Bag
Molteni & C. Touch Down
Cassina 838 Veliero
Cassina 838 Veliero
Edra Vermelha Armchair

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