Gabriele Mucchi


For everyone he was the straighttalking “Mucchi”. «Architects make structures, not chairs. Perhaps designers make chairs, but I’m not a designer…» This is what he, an engineer (and an enthusiastic painter in his spare time), wrote to Aurelio Zanotta in 1981, accompanying the studies for the re-edition of Genni, designed in 1935 in the midst of the rationalist period (in the photo). In 1933 the Home Exhibition in Triennale had introduced the industrial style: a curved steel tube, essential lines. Mucchi wanted to elaborate its language, making it more comfortable. Very few changes were made to the prototype, leading to the Genni that is still produced by Zanotta today: a leather rather than fabric seat, steel springs rather than coil springs with strips of fabric, a machine-processed rather than hand processed tube (as in Emilio Pino’s workshop where the first Genni was made). A concentrate of ingenious, simple modernity today like yesterday.