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Basket – a collection of rattan furniture – is a priori one of the most surprising collections of Joe Colombo, known for his futuristic style, his love of technology and his affinity for synthetic materials.
However, on closer inspection, we clearly find his style there, with these lines that are both geometric and organic and this very innovative approach to the material.
As Ignazia Favata, his former assistant turned Joe Colombo Studio Director, explains: “The Basket collection gives new shape to traditional materials, exploiting an innovative structure that has never been used before for such large and light products. It's really exciting to see him back in production and to see Colombo's work reach new audiences through the collaboration with Gubi. »
First produced at the end of the 1960s, the Basket collection emerges in keeping with the original designs of 1967, slightly optimized to adapt them to today's ergonomic requirements. The interior fiberglass structure has been replaced with a stronger and more environmentally friendly steel structure. It is covered with hand-woven rattan, with interwoven bands and oval pegs, a technique that requires great skill. This frame is equipped with rounded and removable cushions.
Materials steel inner frame, outer material in hand-woven rattan
Lounge Chair 91 x 89 x H68 cm Basket 2-seater 169 x 89 x H68 cm Basket 3-seater 233 x 89 x H68 cm
Seat height 43 cm Seat depth 58 cm
Drive 1115 (price group B)
Zero 002 (price group D)
Italian designer Joe Colombo (1930-1971) had a forward-looking vision of smart technology and integrated living environments, and thus had a revolutionary impact on mid-century design.
His diverse career began in the world of fine art, studying painting and sculpture at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in his hometown of Milan. He was part of the Movimento Nucleare (nuclear movement) of painters, founded by Sergio Dangelo and Enrico Baj, who, inspired by growing international anxiety about nuclear war, challenged the limits of painting with organic forms.
He designed his first architectural project, a condominium, in 1956, before taking over the family business, which produced electric cables, in 1959. It was there that he began to experiment with new construction and production technologies. , and in 1961 Colombo opened his own interior design studio, designing the architecture and furniture.
Captivated by the atomic age, Colombo believed he could create the environment of the future and that the emerging language of interior design he was helping to shape would result in seamlessly integrated living environments rather than individual furniture. . His progressive work was driven by a desire to create objects that were independent of the architecture that contained them and could adapt to any space, now or in the future.
Given its futuristic aesthetic, it's no surprise that Colombo is closely associated with plastic as a material. His Universale chair (1965) was the first all-plastic injection molded chair – and one of the first plastic chairs to be commercially available. He also turned to plastic materials and finishes to create self-contained units that provided all the services of a room – such as his Mini-kitchen (1963); and the Total Furnishing Unit at MoMA (1971) – all in a modular pod.
It was with the extraordinary number of innovative furniture and multifunctional mobile unit designs that he created throughout the 1960s that he made a name for himself. For example, designs such as the throne-like Elda Cocooning Armchair (1963) ensured that the Colombo name would forever be tied to the aesthetics of mid-century science fiction. His best known designs include the Optic alarm clock (1970) and the lighting products Acrilica (1962), Spider (1965) and Ciclope (1970).
Today his work is held in permanent collections and featured in exhibitions at institutions such as the Victoria & Albert Museum and Design Museum in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Thanks to Studio Joe Colombo, now run by his former assistant, architect Ignazia Favata, his legacy lives on.