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Joe Colombo Sormani Seating

Joe Colombo
Seating System designed for Sormani, Italy 1967.
Vintage, out of production.

Joe Colombo’s innovative Space Age Additional-System seating utilizes various sized cushions connected by pins; the cushions can be arranged in various configurations. This is a rare example which is no longer in production.

Cesare (known as Joe) Colombo was born in Milan in 1930. Essentially self-taught, he attended the Academy in Brera and then the faculty of Architecture at the Politecnico in Milan for a few years. Before becoming a designer he worked as a painter, builder, car salesman (his passion for cars remained with him) and entrepreneur in the electrics field.

The technological utopia of Joe Colombo’s designs encompasses many of the hopes of the Sixties in Italy and Europe without becoming imprisoned by ideological restraints.

Here are a few of the most significant milestones in his extremely rapid escalation to designer of international renown, the symbol of an era.

In 1963 he opened his first studio in Milan.
In 1964 he won 3 medals at the “XII Triennale” in Milan.
In 1967 the won the Gold Compass.
In 1968 he received his first International Design Award in Chicago.
In 1969 three of his objects were already part of the permanent collection at MOMA.

Joe Colombo died prematurely on 30th July 1971 on his 41st birthday.

"The possibilities presented by the extraordinary development of audiovisual processes are enormous…… Distances will no longer have much importance; no longer will there be any justification for the 'megalopolis'….Furnishings will disappear…the habitat will be everywhere... Now, if the elements necessary to human existence could be planned with the sole requirements of maneuverability and flexibility...,then we would create an inhabitable system that could be adapted to any situation in space and time..."

Joe Colombo

Available from:
Modern Design Auction at Wright20
October 6th 2009