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THE COMPONIBILI, an Italian best-seller for 50 years

31/03/18

THE COMPONIBILI, an Italian best-seller for 50 years

From Plasticarium collection, ADAM (Brussels)

Since its creation in 1967, the ‘Componibili’ has always stood out in the world of storage furniture, and, more broadly, in the world of design. Revolutionary at the time, it has always been, and remains, a best-seller: 50 years and not a wrinkle!
It must be said that the young Componibili has a distinguished heritage. Its mother, Anna Castelli Ferrieri, a precursor of her time, renowned designer, urban planner and architect, was one of the first women to obtain a degree from the Milan Polytechnic College and went on to be appointed Artistic Director of history’s very first company to design Kartell plastic furniture.
The Componibili (which means “modular” in Italian) was entirely unlike the traditional storage furniture of the time and that was its creator’s stroke of genius, namely reinventing and adapting a product to changing lifestyles thanks to its versatility. By creating this small and sleek piece of furniture, Anna Castelli was not targeting the elite, but rather city dwellers wishing to own objects that were at once visually appealing and practical, possibly with wheels or a movable tray. Night stand, storage box, library, seat, the Componibili can do it all. Cylindrical, colourful, modular, lightweight, designed in a new material, ABS, which is shock-resistant and can be given a glossy appearance and a smooth feel, the Componibili embodied plastics’ entry into the design trends of the 1960s and the advent of Pop Art.
Always sold by Kartell, it has largely contributed to building the brand’s reputation around the world. Available in over 30 colours, it has received many awards in the worlds of art and design. The Holy Grail: it has been added to the collections of the most prestigious museums, including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
The iconic, diminutive, piece of furniture celebrated its 50th birthday last year. After half a century in the world’s homes and over 10 million units sold, this unique piece of design continues to fascinate and reinvent itself. To celebrate the event, Kartell invited twelve world-renowned designers and three brands to redesign this cult object as a tribute to its creator Anna Castelli Ferrieri.

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