form follows style.
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, for example the t95, sometimes with added drawers or cabinets. the executive desk shown here impresses with its length of 2,18m, the elegant top with recessed leather writing surface and the three slim drawers underneath, based on a double aluminium pedestal.
‚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 executive desk for techno, 1950s/60s, italy. wood (walnut veneer), leather and aluminium. brushed aluminium bases. underneath the table top sit 3 very shallow drawers that emphasise the elegant lines of the table, as well as slightly angled table corners that give the table an octagonal shape. the wooden table top has a clearly visible older restoration on the right front and back corners, which we have left original.
the ‚tecno‘ timeline on the companies website
casa borsani in a new york times article