Danish furniture company Gubi honours Gabriella Crespi on what would have been the late designer’s 100th birthday (17 February 2022), with the reissue of a furniture collection first conceived in the 1970s. Dubbed ‘Bohemian 72’, the collection of rattan garden furniture embodies Crespi’s vision for a refined and relaxed lifestyle, and proves the designer’s modernity 50 years after its creation.
The pieces, comprising a lounge chair, three-seater sofa, ottoman and floor lamp, were designed by Crespi for private clients, and never put into production or available to the public. Together, the designs speak of her fascination with cultures and philosophies from the Far East, and her interest in using natural, humble materials in a sophisticated setting. The designs originated on Crespi’s terrace on a summer day, and were part of a wider series of furniture designs in bamboo and rattan.
This is the first time Gubi has presented Crespi’s designs, which join a portfolio of design reissues by some of the most celebrated names of the past, from mirrors by Gio Ponti to lighting by Greta Magnusson Grossman and furniture by Pierre Paulin, as well as contemporary works by leading designers of today, including Gam Fratesi and Space Copenhagen.
‘Gabriella Crespi had a huge talent for navigating the spaces between indoor and outdoor and never let anything block the light and air flowing through her own home,’ comments Gubi’s chief marketing officer, Marie Kristine Schmidt. ‘It is our pride and privilege to be bringing the work of such a design icon into production for more people to enjoy.’
While rattan was a popular material for furniture in the 1970s, Crespi’s idea of creating a modular design by repeating the coiled vines was innovative for the time, and the pieces’ reissue 50 years after their creation proves her ability to create timeless works. The collection is also part of Crespi’s ambition to create what she called ‘the house of the sun’, an environment that combined warmth and sophistication.
‘I couldn’t help but do it with rattan and bamboo, materials of which I’m very fond and that combine strength and flexibility, the warmth of mellow tones, and the ability to be run through by light,’ said Crespi of the collection. ‘Very long spokes give an impression of the infinite and indeterminate just as cane thickets that rise toward the sky do in nature.’
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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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