the race to work.
if you really have to work, then at least do it in a nice environment. in the middle of the 20th century, the number of office workplaces increased rapidly and there was a lot of experimentation: from the ergonomics of the individual workstation to the infamous „cubicles“ in the open-plan office. in addition to u.s. suppliers such as ‘herman miller’, it was primarily the italians who led the way in the further development of „system furniture“, with which entire buildings were furnished. one of the driving forces there was ettore sottsass as artistic director of furniture manufacturer ‘poltronova’ and as a long-time consultant for ‘olivetti’ (which also earned him four ‚compasso d’oro‘ awards, including one for the famous ‘valentine’ typewriter). later on he became worldfamous co-founder of the artist groups ‚alchimia‘ and ‚memphis‘.
experimentation was probably his most outstanding characteristic (with a touch of humor and poetry). accordingly, his thoughts and designs on the rather prosaic world of work were also innovative – in particular, the use of plastic in unusual, cheerful colors was intended to bring joy to offices. (after all, even the most popular version of the ‘valentine’ was red – and not gray or beige). at the end of the 60s he developed the furniture series ‚tecnika‘ for poltronova together with his austrian colleague hans von klier. the system consisted of various desks, dining tables and side tables complemented by various chair models, the most striking being the ‚progress‘ chair with an abs seat shell on an aluminium base; the ribbed upholstery is somewhat reminiscent of the bucket seats of italian sports cars.
pair of ‘progress’ office chairs designed by ettore sottsass and hans von klier.
italy, 1969, design centre (poltronova); smau industrial design award 1970.
four star castor aluminium base with suspension, white abs plastic seating shell, foam upholstery covered in orange fabric. good original vintage condition with patina from usage. 50x50x80cm, seat height 47cm