World-leading Italian furniture maker Cassina returns to Space, with its prestigious collection firmly under the wing of art director and celebrated Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola. This return to the fold is both timely and significant with Patricia last heading to Australia to celebrate Space’s 20th birthday in 2013.
Over nine decades Cassina has collaborated with a roll-call of the great architects of modern design – Le Corbusier, Gerrit Rietveld, Frank Lloyd Wright, Charlotte Perriand, Gio Ponti, Pierre Jeanneret and Vico Magistretti, as well as more recent trailblazers including Mario Bellini, Jamie Hayon, Piero Lissoni, Gaetano Pesce, Philippe Starck, and now Patricia Urquiola. With deep roots like these, the group has developed iconic status in the design world by presenting the huge breakthroughs of the past with the immense possibilities of the future.
Entrepreneurial brothers Casare and Umberto Cassina launched Cassina in 1927 in the Italian region of Lombardy, close to Milan and famous for its design manufacturing. It was here where those industrial design skills were honed in tune with Italy's post-war reboot in the 1950s. Research and innovation became the foundations of the Cassina group as they worked side-by-side with architects and designers, encouraging and supporting them to come up with new forms with access to the latest research, technologies and processes.
In 1964 when Cassina dreamt up the idea for the Cassina I Maestri collection, that philosophy appealed to Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand. Since acquiring the worldwide rights to produce four models – the LC collection coined the ‘equipment for the house’ by Le Corbusier – Cassina has since expanded the collection to include almost all of the furniture designed by Corbusier, Perriand and Jeanneret. In true Cassina style, every detail has been forensically researched and the range developed in close collaboration with the Fondation Le Corbusier and the heirs of Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret.
This ability to connect traditional craftsmanship with the latest technical skills is the innovative fusion that draws designers to Cassina all eager to collaborate. Buoyed by its history of collaboration, in particular with the Italian architect and designer Vico Magistretti, Patricia Urquiola was fascinated and inspired with the possibilities and joined the group as art director in 2016.
The first projects Patricia Urquiola developed with Cassina include the renewal of the brand’s historic New York Showroom in Midtown, and the research and development of new projects, including the Beam Sofa System and Gender armchair, winner of a NYC Design Award in 2016, as well as special editions of the classic Superleggera chair and Utrecht armchair, in collaboration with Berjan Pot, launched at the Milan Furniture Fair last year.
We will have to wait to see what Patricia produces for the Milan Furniture Fair in 2017, but on top of new pieces for the Cassina collection, the word is she is currently working on a special installation entitled 'Cassina 9.0' at the Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Cassina and the launch of the group’s commemorative book 'This will be the Place'.