Irony and attention to the functions are the assumptions on which ‘jugglers’ Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni based their participation in the exhibition Colori e forme nella casa d’oggi, at Villa Olmo, Como, in 1957. This was one of the founding experiences of the Italian design culture, where, as if by magic, a real racing bicycle saddle (Sella) appeared, mounted on a stainless steel column supported by a heavy hemispherical base, capable of a ‘dynamic balance’.
The object was designed as a ‘telephone stool’ for unusual postures and occasional sitting, but besides its clear reference to the world of bicycle races (its colour reminds of the pink jersey worn by the winner of the Giro d’Italia), it recalls the milker’s stool, to be ‘fastened’ to the body with a waist belt, which is made of a very basic top and only one leg, forming the third element required for correct stability, in addition to the two legs of the person sitting on it.
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Among the original progenitors and standard bearers of Italian furniture design—the intrepid canaries when home furnishing was little more than a utilitarian cave—Zanotta has carved out an all but untouchable place in the ranks of contemporary luxury. The first to grace its catalogue with works by some of the industry’s boldest names, in sixty years Zanotta’s amassed a veritable pantheon of award-winning designs, with almost a fifth residing in permanent museum displays.