Interior & Architecture
design icon joe colombo
JOE COLOMBO | Italy (1930 – 1971)

For our Design:Icons Series, we’d like to introduce Italian industrial designer genius, Joe Colombo.

Student at the Brera Academy and the Polytechnic of Milan, initially started his career as an artist and architect, and then focus on industrial design. In less than ten years, until his untimely death, Colombo draws a surprising amount of objects, all marked by a certain taste Pop and an enthusiastic attitude of faith in progress. Its products, the Mini-Kitchen on wheels (Boffi, 1964) by the glass for smoking Smoke (Arnolfo di Cambio, 1964) from the stackable plastic chair 4867 Universal (Kartell, 1965) to the lamp Spider (O-Light, 1965), They are present in all the most important design collections and have made him an icon of the sixties.

In 1959, Colombo had to take over the family company, which produced electric appliances, and started to experiment with new construction and production technologies. In 1962 Colombo opened his own interior design and architecture projects, mostly for lodges and skiing.

Colombo designed products for Oluce, Kartell, Bieffe, Alessi, Flexform and Boffi.

design icon joe colombo
design icon joe colombo
design icon joe colombo
“The possibilities presented by the extraordinary development of audiovisual processes are enormous…… Distances will no longer have much importance; no longer will there be any justification for the ‘megalopolis’….Furnishings will disappear…the habitat will be everywhere… Now, if the elements necessary to human existence could be planned with the sole requirements of maneuverability and flexibility…,then we would create an inhabitable system that could be adapted to any situation in space and time…”
joe colombo elda chair

The Elda chair, 1963

One of Colombo’s first furniture designs is named after his wife Elda. It was created for the Italian manufacturer Comfort. With the fiberglass armchair he started using plastic for large-surface forms.

The deep shell shaped body with its comfortable inner leather shields the seater from surrounding happenings and ensures sound insulation. the revolving system of 360 degrees rotation and the wheels still ensure the users’ mobility.


joe colombo profile
design icon joe colombo
joe colombo spider table lamp

Famous Works:

The Elda Chair for Longhi, 1963
Miniaturised kitchen for Boffi, 1963
Universale Chair for Kartell, 1965
Additional Living System for Sormani ,1967
The Tube Chair for Flexform, 1969
The Topo Lamp for Oluce, 1970
Boby trolley for B-line, 1970
The Brillio Chair for Zanotta, 1971

Elda Fibreglass Arm Chair Leather White

1963 Elda Arm Chair Leather White


Original Boby Portable Storage System by Joe Colombo

1968 Boby Portable Storage System


Joe colombo Additional System Seating for Sormani

1967 ‘Additional-System’ Seating for Sormani


Joe Colombo Flexform flesh tube

1960 Flexform Flesh Tube Black