hyper futuristic drinking.
italian artist and designer cesare („joe“) colombo, born 1930, studied in milan, joined the expressionist artist group „movimento nucleare“ in 1951 and the „art concret“ group in 1955. In 1959, colombo had to take over the family company, which produced electric appliances, and started to experiment with new construction and production technologies. in 1962 colombo opened his own interior design and architecture office and over the years he designed products for many wellknown italian interior and furniture companies, from tableware to airconditioners. especially famous became his utilitarian designs in hard plastic (abs) for ‚kastell‘ like rolling containers (‚bobi‘) and chairs.
as an „allrounder“ colombo was always interested in systemic design: modular, variable, matching, lightweight objects that worked together like a „living machine“. this versatile approach wasn’t just an expression of its time – colombo was one of the main promoters of these ideas in interior design. between space age and pop art, he developed a playful modernity that struck a chord with many people searching for a different style of living. he actually was „inventing the future“, like it is put in the title of an exhibition about his works (vitra design museum / la triennale die milano, 2005).
the „birillo“ bar stool (italian for „bowling pin“), designed in 1970 for italian company zanotta is one of his last designs: colombo died in 1971 at only 41 years of age. futuristic already five decades ago the unique look would befit the luxurious bar on a space station – or a high desk in your home office. the single supporting leg and footrest are made of stainless steel, the base is white fiberglass, the slightly swiveling seat and back are leather upholstered. the chair was awarded the golden medal at the international exhibition m.i.a. in 1972 and is exhibited in several museums worldwide.
glass-fibre reinforced plastic, chrome-plated steel, rubber and upholstered leather; prod. zanotta 1970, signed with molded manufacturer’s mark to underside [zanotta mod. bistro des. joe colombo made in italy].
sources: mateo kries / vitra design museum, „joe colombo – die erfindung der zukunft“, 2005, s. 232; archive-website of moma, new york: https://www.moma.org/collection/works/82139