Arper has put Lina Bo Bardi's Bowl Chair into production for the first time since its creation in 1951. The Italian-Brazilian architect's design pioneered a more relaxed approach to seating that was radical for the era. The reissued chair - presented in Milan during last year's Salone del Mobile (and previewed in Wallpaper's July 2013 issue) - is an important testament to her vision.
Arper worked closely with the Instituto Lina Bo e P.M. Bardi to produce the chair, basing it on the only existing original prototype and Bo Bardi's design sketches. The Italian furniture brand shares the designer's mission to place the person at the centre of her projects, and her idea that 'man is the ultimate objective of architecture'.
With her piece, Bo Bardi intended to introduce a flexible way of approaching the object - a chair adapting to people rather than the other way around. 'What is new in this piece of furniture, what is absolutely new, is the fact that the chair can achieve movement from all sides, with no mechanic means whatsoever, only due to its spherical form,' the designer wrote about her creation.
The Bowl Chair's genius is in its simple execution: made of two loose parts consisting of an upholstered shell standing on a metal structure, the seat is free to move in every direction. It is a chair for living, rather than just sitting, with the human being once again at the centre of the designer's thinking.
Produced in a limited edition of 500 (with by-order upholstery that includes one black leather and seven fabric options, and a selection of cushions in patterns inspired by original Bo Bardi sketches and developed by Arper in collaboration with Brazilian textile designer Dani Moura), part of the proceeds from the chair's sale will be invested in the Instituto Lina Bo e P.M. Bardi's social and cultural projects.
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Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.
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