Joe Colombo, ‘No. 20 "Elda Armchair"’, 1965, Chamber
Joe Colombo, ‘No. 20 "Elda Armchair"’, 1965, Chamber
Joe Colombo, ‘No. 20 "Elda Armchair"’, 1965, Chamber

This is considered to be the first armchair made of molded plastid (fiberglass). In designing this project, Joe Colombo was inspired by the hulls of boats, using the same nautical technology to realize his design. The result is an oversized, self-supporting shell on a swivel base, lined on the inside with individual padded and removable tubular leather cushions.

Image rights: Loek Blonk

Milan, Italy

About Joe Colombo

Joe Colombo saw himself as a "creator of the environment of the future." During the forward-looking 1960s—against the backdrop of the space race and Pop Art—the Italian industrial designer sought to create design solutions through the use of new materials and curvaceous, functional forms. He used his family’s factory to conduct experiments in cutting-edge plastics such as fiberglass, ABS, PVC, and polyethylene, with the goal of creating furniture for mass production. In addition to new materials, he also explored ideas of self-assembly, in pieces such as modular tube furniture that could be arranged according to the users’ wishes. His breakthrough piece, the adjustable Universale chair, was developed in collaboration with Kartell between 1965 and 1967 and is considered the first chair to be molded from a single material.

Italian, 1930-1971