Tonietta

Design Enzo Mari - 1985

Chair. Polished or black painted aluminum alloy frame. Seat and back in polypropylene covered in cowhide 95 in the colours indicated on our colour card.

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From design to product

Tonietta chair is an eloquent example of product born from a close and fertile collaboration between firm and designer. Started in 1981 the chair’s project ended in 1985 following constant engineering research necessarily undertaken to exploit a technology, the one of aluminium die casting, that - expensive - had so far been little used in the manufacturing of a domestic chair.

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“I was particularly hostile towards fashion that wanted objects, including chairs, overloaded with technological or typological arrogance of design: I wanted to design the simplest chair possible, almost obvious, not an object that appears different at any cost. After careful analysis I saw that among modern chairs, Thonet are the ones that best embody the idea of an archetypal image, and so to define the character of my chair I decided to dialogue with this single example of an upper class piece, full of semantic and symbolic values.”
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The Tonietta chair won the prestigious Compasso d’Oro Award in 1987 with the following motivation of the jury: “This chair represents a great lesson on style and culture - it calls to mind an archetype, avoiding all trite imitations of morphological elements”.