Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Design Icon: Joe Colombo

Joe Colombo Invented The Future

The master of 'modular' long before it became mainstream, Joe Colombo is a legend over here at Fülhaus. He designed task-specific components that swiveled, pulled down, tucked away - or when turned over, transform into something completely new. What I find so appealing is the specificity of his full-concept designs: each little drawer or shelf is made to fit exactly what it is intended to house. I am beyond obsessed with his concept of "Living Systems" and curious why we don't see more of this happening in the modern world of interior and industrial design. Rather than catering to convention or 'general saleability', he took risks and they paid off with some truly exciting pieces of iconic 20th century design. 

(Colombo on his Elda Armchair, 1965 - Named for his Wife... adorable!)
Maybe I watched too much science-fiction as a child, but I grew up imagining a future of jet-packs, moon-bases, and glorious molded plastics forms. Joe Colombo pushed the boundaries of futuristic living and dared to imagine with childlike creativity. He practiced what he preached and designed the Roto-Living Unit and Cabriolet-Bed for his own apartment.

(Visiona I Exhibition - Living Room, 1969)
A Brief Bio: 

Like most of us designers, Colombo started out as an art student before going on to Design. He was an active painter & sculptor, joining the Movimento Nucleare, a collective concerned with multi-discplinary modes of expression and an obsession with the impending 'Atomic Age' (complete with manifesto of course!). By 1955 he left the world of fine arts and came into his own as an Industrial/Interior Designer. The 1960's were a prolific frenzy of work - Joe designed for all the major Italian firms: Alessi, Kartell, Bieffe, Flexform and Boffi, many works still in production today and celebrated for their ergonomics and versatility. Only the good die young - Colombo passed away at the peak of his career, on his 41st birthday in 1971. 

(Total Furnishing Unit, 1971/72) 

Fülhaus is always on the hunt for Joe Colombo original and inspired pieces.
Here's a round-up from the Fülhaus collection:



(Top: Set of 6 Space Age Plates, Danish Red Plastic Pitcher, Guzzini Sphere Ice Bucket, Japanese Space Cutlery 30pc Set 
Bottom: Boby Art Cart, Kartell Style White Plastic Stacking Tables) 

No comments:

Post a Comment