Industrial but playful might sound like a contradiction, but in the hands of Piero Lissoni, it makes perfect sense. The Italian architect and designer has become one of the most accomplished of his generation, with collaborations with everyone from Alessi to Flos to Tecno. After training as an architect at the prestigious Politecnico di Milano University, Lissoni formed his own firm to create witty takes on modernism’s clean lines.
In 1996, he launched a visual communication agency, Graph.x, followed 17 years later by Lissoni Architettura, which handles interior design projects. But Lissoni’s furnishings really show off his charm: his Otto seating system for Cassina, named for the way the numeral is pronounced in Italian, tosses a titular number of comfy cushions into a slim aluminum rectangle for a perfect blend of hard and soft. And his Extrasoft system for Living Divani tosses away the frame entirely. It’s a chic take on the kid’s bedroom favorite, the beanbag, but with a lifetime’s worth of possible arrangements.