osvaldo borsani (1911-1985) was an italian designer and architect, born into a family of furniture makers. always a „modernist“ and fascinated by innovation and technology he founded the manufacturer ‚tecno‘ with his twin brother fulgenzio. in the course of rationalization and the rise of the service society, they planned to incorporate modern manufacturing techniques into the still very artisan furniture making process to achieve high quality at less cost. in the fifties they presented the d70, a versatile adjustable sofa, followed by the p40, an equally multifunctional armchair (dubbed the „machine for seating“). also in these years borsani developed a series of office desks and conference tables, often recognizable by bevelled plates at different angles, sometimes with added drawers or cabinets.
‚tecno‘ over the years became very successful and in the 70s nearly dominated office design, working with architects and designers like norman foster and gae aulenti, presenting furniture and office systems in more than 40 showrooms worldwide – the first such scale operation out of italy. early furniture pieces by tecno can be found in the permanent collections of the moma in new york, the victoria & albert museum in london, the centre pompidou in paris, the neue sammlung in munich and the triennale di milano museum (including a big retrospective in 2018).
osvaldo borsani, early model of t90 desk for tecno, presented at the 10th triennial in 1954, milano, italy. minimalist, elegant – and practical: the raised rear edge of the worktop prevents writing pens from rolling down the back. shaped, curved ply top with three drawers on a lacquered metal frame.
the ‚tecno‘ timeline on the companies website
casa borsani in a new york times article