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.
“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…”
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.
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