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Arflex Furniture
c.1951, Arflex for Fiat Topolino

Arflex

Italy (1947)

Italian furni­ture manu­fac­turer Arflex was founded in 1947 by Carlo Barassi, Renato Teani, Pio Reggiani, and Aldo Bai, who met while working at tire company Pirelli. The men collab­o­rated with archi­tect and designer Marco Zanuso to create flex­i­ble furnish­ings using foam rubber and elastic tape. This concept, driven by utility and tech­nol­ogy, would come to define an era of modern Italian furnish­ings that prior­i­tized comfort, simplic­ity, and ergonomics.

After several years of research and devel­op­ment, the company offi­cially launched at IX Trien­nale in Milan in 1951. The Lady armchair, a piece by Zanuso, won the gold medal of that show­case, trig­ger­ing a series of success­ful follow-up pieces. Design­ers such as Franco Albini and Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni contributed to Arflex’s growing collec­tion of pieces suit­able for the home, office, public spaces, and even cars (the company manu­fac­tured parts that could be used to replace stan­dard auto­mo­bile seating in the 1950’s). Later collab­o­ra­tors are a who’s who of Italian design: They include Joe Colombo, Cini Boeri, Ettore Sottsass, and Michele De Lucchi. Boeri’s Strips sofa collec­tion received the pres­ti­gious Compasso d’oro prize in 1979.

In 2005, Carlo Colombo became the artis­tic direc­tor of Arflex, usher­ing in a new chapter for the storied brand. Recent collec­tions from inter­na­tional talents such as Claes­son Koivisto Rune, Jean Nouvel, and Luca Nichetto continue to shape the brand’s legacy as a leading provider of modern furnish­ings that merge comfort with strik­ing aesthet­ics. Arflex cele­brated its 70th anniver­sary in 2017, and main­tains show­rooms in Milan, Paris, and Gius­sano, Italy. Context Gallery has been a trusted partner with Arflex for over 10 years.

Video

Designs by Arflex (4)