Building up an icon (mass produced) – Part #9

The innovative Italian furniture firm TECNO S.p.A. was founded in 1953 by Osvaldo and his twin brother Fulgenzio Borsani. Since the early 1920’s Osvaldo´s father, Gaetano Borsani had been running the furniture Atelier Varedo, producing bespoke furniture in line of great deco craftsmanship. In 1932 the company then changed its …

Building up an icon (mass produced) – Part #8

Artek is a Finnish furniture company founded in 1935 by renowned architect Alvar Aalto and his wife Aino Aalto, visual arts promoter Maire Gullichsen and art historian Nils-Gustav Hahl. The founders chose a non-Finnish name, the neologism Artek was meant to manifest the desire to combine art and technology. This …

Building up an icon (mass produced) – Part #6

The London based ISOKON firm was founded in 1929 to design and construct modernist houses and flats, which later led to furniture and fittings for them. Originally Isokon was called Wells Coates and Partners, stemmed from an association between Jack Pritchard of the Venesta Plywood Company and the designer and …

Building up an icon (mass produced) – Part #5

Artifort is part of the Lande Group, a family-owned Dutch furniture manufacturing company that produces the labels Artifort, Lande and Zwaardvis. The foundations of Artifort were laid by Jules Wagemans when he set up business as an upholsterer in Maastricht in 1890. His son, Henricus Wagemans expanded the company into …

Building up an icon (mass produced) – Part #4

In 2005 the leading group in the high-end furniture sector Poltrona Frau Group comprising Poltrona Frau, Cassina and Cappellini, as well as Gebrüder Thonet Vienna, Gufram and Nemo was established. Poltrona Frau Group, an international furniture manufacturing conglomerate which has a history that goes back to 1912 with the foundation …

Building up an icon (mass produced) – Part #3

American Furniture Company Herman Miller was founded by D.J. De Pree, who bought the “Michigan Star Furniture Company” in 1923 with his father-in-law, Herman Miller, and a small group of local businessmen. The company originated in 1905 as the “Star Furniture Company”. Initially they produced high quality furniture, especially bedroom …

Building up an icon (mass produced) – Part #2

Fritz Hansen, also known as Republic of Fritz Hansen is a Danish furniture design company which was established in 1872 by the visionary cabinetmaker of the same name. Since then, Fritz Hansen has become a part of both Danish and international design history. In the early 20th century Christian E. …

Building up an icon (mass produced) – Part #1

Thonet was established in 1819 by Michael Thonet. Michael Thonet‘s work is synonymous of the transition from craftsmanship to industrial furniture production. His breakthrough towards industrial production took place in 1859 with “chair No.14”, later called the „Vienna coffee house chair“, using the innovative technique of bending solid beech wood. …