Monday, October 4, 2010

The Futuristic and Stylish Designs of Joe Colombo!

Joe Colombo was an industrial and furniture designer from Italy (not to be confused with the mafia boss of the same name) whose furniture designs are futuristic and fabulous. His body of work his extensive and features a number of different styles and types, but have a definite look that lets you know it’s a Colombo piece. See what we mean in today’s Designer Influence.

There are certain words that come to mind when checking out Colombo’s furniture pieces. Puffy. Bubbly. Soft. Curvy. Though he designed during the height of the Mid-Century, his furniture has a very 1970s and 1980s look to it, which is the first bit of proof that he was so forward-thinking. He might not be as famous or as well-known as other designers, but the proof is in how trendy the looks he was designing became in future decades.

One of his best known designs, the “"Poltroncina a Elementi Curvati” features a very recognizable and strong design. The thick back curves slowly into the arms, creating a chair that seems to be hugging itself and anyone in it tightly. He uses this design in a number of chairs in a number of materials. And with a corresponding ottoman, as well.

Other designs feature tables with wide, rounded corners and thick legs, a tube chair made of giant tubes and really plush, comfortable-looking dining chairs and lounge chairs. He really valued comfort, and also flexibility of pieces, having been known to cherish pieces that could transform for other uses. Again, at the end of the day, he was looking toward the future and how people would be using their homes in the future.

Born in 1930, Colombo died a pretty untimely dead at age 41 in 1971, else who knows what other designs we may have seen from him. But, he fit a lot into his life, eventually going on to design for many of the top furniture manufacturing companies, like Oluce, Kartell, Bieffe, Alessi, Flexform and Boffi. He also won lots of awards, and often exhibited his work at the world’s top art galleries. An influence he was indeed!

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