Designed over 60 years ago, Marco Zanuso’s Lady Chair is a classic example of how materials and technology can be used to engender new aesthetics. It all began in the late 1940s when Pirelli – the venerable Italian manufacturer known the world over for its rubber products – invited Marco Zanuso to experiment with home furnishings applications for its innovative foam rubber.
The Lady chair was one of those early results that not only provided the catalyst for Pirelli to establish Arflex as its furniture division but captured the imaginations of the judges at the prestigious 1951 Milan Triennale by winning the top prize. Arflex continuously produced the Lady lounge chair through 2013; in 2015, Cassina now has the chair as part of its I Maestri Collection. The Lady chair is included in the permanent collections of museums worldwide. It remains one of the landmark pieces associated with the materials and technical experimentation that underscores the aesthetics of midcentury modernism.
Architect, designer and university lecturer, Marco Zanuso was one of the leading interpreters of the Modern Movement.
Trained at the Polytechnic University of Milan and, in the immediate post-war years, co-editor of the Domus magazine with Ernesto N. Rogers, he was awarded the Medaglia d’oro and the Gran Premio at the Milan Triennale on a number of occasions (VIII, IX, X, XI and XIII editions), and won ve Compassi d’Oro between 1956 and 1985.
Zanuso was one of the first designers in Italy to take an interest in product industrialization, going beyond aesthetics to incorporate technological, industrial, and communication variables.
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