Edited by Beppe Finessi.
Over the past 50 years, Vico Magistretti has made some of the most simple, inventive and intuitive designs to come out of Italy. His unmistakably modest and delightful lamps, chairs and tables needn't ever raise their voices to be heard; rather, we notice them because they are exceptionally functional and pleasing, and because they raise a smile. His Chimera floor lamp from 1966 looks like a wavy curtain, his Eclisse, another lamp from the same year, just like an eclipsing sun, its shade a horizontally rotating half-sphere. His “Selene” and “Gaudi” stacking chairs, from 1967 and 1970 respectively, were designed specifically to be molded from plastic and to fit in a tower of good design. “Shigeto,” from 1988, is a perfectly symmetrical cupboard on wheels, a sneaky betrayal of the idea of domestic furniture. And his colorful “Mauna Kea” chairs, produced by Kartell in the early 90s, are still ubiquitous, the slits in their seats and backs always recognizable. Folding armchairs, beds, bookshelves, tables and coat racks unfold to reveal the extent of Magistretti's exceptionally charming and pragmatic contributions to the world of twentieth-century design.