Futuristic bedroom by Joe Colombo
(Image credit: press)

Italian design has long been synonymous with elegance, innovation and downright gorgeousness. With some of the most prolific names in fashion, interiors and architecture having been shaped by the boot of Europe - Italy is, and always has been, a veritable breeding ground for creative talent.

One of the most successful interiors innovators of his time, Ceasare ‘Joe’ Colombo was - in his 1960s heyday - the living embodiment of this Italian stereotype.

futuristic bedroom by Joe Colombo

(Image credit: press)

Combining modernist elegance, industrial know-how and pioneering use of materials, Colombo’s mark on the face of contemporary design has been rendered truly indelible.

The latest portion of a touring Colombo retrospective will this month open at the Grassi Museum of applied art in Leipzig. Split into four parts, the show is a comprehensive deconstruction of this enigmatic designer’s tragically short career.

Spanning his beginnings in the early 1950s through to his all-encompassing interiors visions of the late 1960s – Colombo’s ample legacy could not have hoped for a more suitable salutation.

Sky-searching futurist that he was, Colombo was the first designer to mould a chair in one entire piece. Renowned for his multicoloured, super-curved and ultramodern vision - Colombo was a producer of, in his own words, ‘machines for living’.

With televisions in ceilings, pivoting walls and pop-up mini-bars abound, Colombo’s James Bond inspired interiors (whilst certainly hovering on the kitsch side) are enjoying a deserved renaissance – the quality and clarity of Colombo’s creative vision precedes any of our more modish prejudices – and rightly so.


Grassi Museum of applied art
Johannisplatz 5-11
D – 04103 Leipzig


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.