| GUFRAM / MILAN INTERNATIONAL FURNITURE FAIR 2006
The quality of Gufram's history is epitomised by this collection: a series of pieces made from polyurethane foam, which captures the creative journey that started in the late '60s, about 15 years after the company was founded in 1952.
Today, these pieces that Gufram continues to offer under the I Multipli label; Pavčpiuma, Sassi and Massolo - by Piero Gilardi -, Torneraj, Puffo and Pratone - by Giorgio Ceretti, Pietro Derossi and Riccardo Rosso -, Bocca - by Studio 65 -, Cactus - by Guido Drocco and Franco Mello - and the collections Babele - by Gianni Pettena -, Mozza - by Giuseppe Raimondi - and Wimbledon - by Giorgio Ceretti, Pietro Derossi and Riccardo Rosso -, are on display in the principal museums of contemporary art and design throughout the world.
Since 1978 the company has been working in the contract sector as well, with impressive results, lavishing on its custom furnishings a culture of research, formal innovation, and continual experimentation with new materials. Among the most important projects have been the fitting out of the Teatro degli Arcimboldi in Milan, and the Teatro Regio and RAI Auditorium in Turin.
From Gufram's immense archive of objects that testify to the spirit that characterised the company's work during the 1970s, two important products have been revived and re-issued for this occasion, having kept all their ironic and transgressive power intact.
Sfera is a design from 1972 by the artist Piero Gilardi in which a soft sphere appears as a game of mirrors that observes and winks from below, but can be kicked away when it becomes too invasive.
It is made of cold-moulded polyurethane and painted with silver Guflac. A counterweight inside ensures that it always returns to the right position.
Designed in 1975 by architect Angelo Cusimano, the Formico seat, as the natural evolution of a series of small armchairs called Le Formiche (The Ants) because of their simplicity and shape, drawn from nature and then transposed to objects of everyday use (back in the historic days when Gufram was making gigantic versions of natural objects as an extreme and artificial representation of reality). Only a few exemplars were ever produced, and today's re-issue is exactly identical to the original.
The simplicity of the design does not detract at all from the visual impact, with the arms as the ant's antennae while the high back enlarges the chair's presence, suggesting the name, the larger, masculine form of the name given to the smaller armchairs of the same family, Le Formiche.
Softcrete sofa system, by Ross Lovegrove, has been inspired by the work of Minimalist architecture, notably the concrete sculptural elegance of Tadao Ando, its where the organic and the linear converge in a discreet way.
It is a legitimate association of technology material and form, self organizing and restrained, achieving a formal statement but with a tactile human warmth.
Finally, of the last seasons, we remember: Alvar chaise-longue by Giuseppe Raimondi, Capitello armchair by Studio 65, Siedi-Tee seat by Laura Fubini, Francesco Mansueto and Marco Verrando and Dčjeuner sur l'arbre table by Gianni Arnaudo.
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