Perhaps no one is as vital to the contemporary Italian design as Tecno, founded in 1953 by brothers Osvaldo and Fulgenzio Borsani as a way to bring their father’s artisan workshop into the age of industrial manufacturing. Tecno first exhibited its mass produced but utterly unique furniture within a Buckminster Fuller geodesic dome at the 10th Milan Triennial Exhibition, including its soon-to-be smash D70 divan. Osvaldo’s sense of harmonious restraint, and Fulgenzio’s keen eye for business, went on to establish new design standards like the Graphis office system, which in large part created the open-plan workplace.
Osvaldo’s daughter Valeria entered the fold in the mid-1960s with her D120 sofa, boasting steel columns for feet that rest unexpectedly on off-center circles. In the 1980s, Tecno collaborated with Norman Foster on Nomos, a desk that won the prestigious Compass d’Oro award. While Tecno found huge success in furniture for workplaces, by the 1990s they were venturing into the realm of fine art, with collaborations and tributes to artists like Lucio Fontana and Man Ray. By the turn of the century, Tecno had offices throughout Europe and from New York to Seoul and Dubai, and had joined corporate forces with brands like Zanotta. Most recently, they’ve returned to to their roots in Italy with a new collaboration with Norman Foster for the major project of designing a Vatican chapel. Context Gallery has been a trusted partner with Tecno for over a decade.