They enter our homes, our offices and all human spaces leaving a sign in the life’s history of each person. Elegance, simplicity, irreverence, colour, minimal ... everything participates in the creation of an object that travels in memory.
Hans J. Wegner
by Carl Hansen & Søn
The view of a 3-leg chair might surprise you, but the beauty and functionality of the CH07 Chair created by the Danish designer Hans Wegner in 1963 makes people smile, exactly like the shape of the chair.
A light chair with soft lines in which elegance and organic shapes intertwine, thus making its style famous and everlasting, a real icon of design.
It is also called "smiling chair" or "shell chair", and despite its three legs it is absolutely stable, thanks to the great skills of Wegner in architecture and cabinet making. In the past, Wegner said: "a chair must be beautiful from all sides and angles", and this is undoubtedly visible in the design of this great iconic object.
The materials used for its construction are of the highest quality: the back and the seat are made of laminated wood in pressed shapes, while the front legs - with soft and light lines - are made from a single piece of laminated wood. The seat and the back are upholstered with fabric or leather, sometimes even characterised by chromatic plays.
When it was conceived, its shape and particularity was not appreciated and its production was interrupted in the seventies; in 1998, when the times were ripe, the production of the chair restarted and won numerous design awards.
Its beauty is still produced in its original version by Carl Hansen & Søn in Denmark.
Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni
If the Taccia Lamp is not regarded as the design icon par excellence, what another object could ever be considered as such?
The Taccia Lamp was born from the brilliant idea of the Castiglioni brothers, in 1962. Although its neoclassical design with support reminds a Greek column, it was actually inspired by the design of stove pipes, for their characteristic of heat dispersion.
As the brothers admitted, the lamp was initially imagined in a wrong way. At that time, driven by the enthusiasm for new synthetic materials they decided to use transparent plastic to produce it, but the heat of incandescent bulbs deformed this material, that became like a flat sheet. Hence the idea of changing the material and to use the glass.
The inimitable Taccia was then born. The base is made of "naturally" anodized extruded aluminium or black painted, outlined by protrusions to improve the heat diffusion of the bulb; the upper part of the lamp consists of a swivelling deep glass diffuser, on which a concave, white enamelled, aluminium disc is placed. The bulb is hidden inside the metal base thus resulting in a mild, non-blinding light thanks to the clearness of the glass of the bell.
Beyond the initial difficulties, the story has a happy ending: in fact, as Castiglioni said: "The Taccia Lamp is the Mercedes of lamps, a symbol of success”.
And success has arrived and continues over time.
Since its creation in 2010, the Nemo Armchair has become a worldwide recognised design icon. Its designer, Fabio Novembre, often attributes his works to the Greek culture, theatre, and statuary art.
This eclectic, enigmatic and in some ways disquieting armchair is not a simple seat, but a sculpture-armchair which combines and blends design, functionality, and contemporary art, almost with a theatrical feature. Everyone's attention and curiosity is captured by its impressive size, regardless of its position, in enclosed spaces of different types or in a garden.
The backrest recalls the features of a human face with classic features, an inexpressive mask with empty eyes, devoid of memory and expression, a face out of time. Its high and cosy backrest creates an embracing place to hide yourself. The polyethylene seat can be assembled on both a swivel and a fixed base and the colours range from white to red, from black to grey.
In 2020, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of its creation, the installation NEMO OMNI was presented during the event Milano Design City. To promote equality and inclusiveness, the armchair was proposed in five different Skin Tone colours; as the face also represents the beauty, it cannot be represented by a single colour.
A design icon capable to blend art, culture, community, expressions, and global messages of inclusiveness.
The Panton chair was designed by Verner Panton with the idea of creating an object that perfectly adhered to the body lines. It was conceived between 1959-1960 but put into production by Vitra only in 1967.
The stylish iconic Panton chair was made out in one single piece, and due to its as unusual as surprising shape it easily became one of the cult objects of the twentieth century. In 1971, it even became the cause of scandal for a piece of a British magazine, when Amanda Lear showed her body leaned against the chair in a sensual way.
Several years have gone by from the design to the production, as at that time it was exceedingly difficult, if not almost impossible, to realise its cantilevered shape by defying the gravity laws. Thanks to the innovative material it was made of (polyester combined with fibreglass and polyurethane) and the availability of various types of colours, the Panton chair immediately became an amazing item, perfect for any furnishing context.
There was, however, another problem to overcome, its high production cost; in fact, towards the end of the 70s the production of the Panton was stopped. It took ten years more to have it back on the market, thanks to a new material, the polyurethane foam which has a cheaper cost; since then, it has become a real pop icon.
In 2017, to celebrate the half century from its conception, two limited editions were produced: the Panton Chrome and the Panton Glow. Thanks to a metallisation process, the Panton Chrome acquires a mirror finish, while the Glow is realised through a tricky process where five layers of paint, containing phosphorescent pigments, are laid; the layers, absorbing the sunlight, give out a wonderful light blue glow in the dark.
The Bourgie Table Lamp is a timeless best seller that has entered in the Olympus of design thanks to its creator Ferruccio Laviani, who designed it for Kartell. Thanks to its ideational concept, this lamp brings different generations together.
Its name says it all!
The inspiration struck him while he was listening to the song "Bourgie, bourgie" by the Gladys Knight & The Pips, that teased the bourgeoisie in the 1970s; this is why he decided to design an object that undermined the idea of classic and formal in an ironic way.
So, he decided to choose the style of a seventeenth-century object as an example, and to turn it upside-down by using an innovative material, the polycarbonate which transformed the classic object into a pop icon. Its transparency and the contrast between shape and support give a contemporary look to the lamp, without affecting its traditional shape. The lamp is now produced in different colours, making it suitable for any environment.
Its two-dimensional base is characterised by curved and winding shapes, reminiscent of the Baroque style, which convey in the lampshade made with a pleated effect. Its attachment system allows to transform the lamp according to the occasions, thus becoming an office, desk, or a bedside lamp, even a floor one.
A timeless spectacular icon of cult design.
by De Padova
by Ligne Roset
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
fabric version by Cappellini
plastic version for outdoors by Magis
by Knoll International
by B&B Italia
Achille e Pier Giacomo Castiglioni
Charles & Ray Eames