This 90-Year-Old Company’s New Book is Anything But Old-Fashioned
As one of the biggest Italian furniture companies, Cassina has, to the outside observer, often seemed to be reveling in its past rather than looking towards its future. Cassina, after all, owns the rights to some of the 20th century’s most iconic designs, from Gerrit Rietveld’s Zig Zag Chair to Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand’s LC4 chaise. And while the brand has been known to exhibit bursts of eccentricity (see Gaetano Pesce’s 2010 dining table in the shape of the Italian flag), Cassina never struck us as being remotely weird. Then, we walked into the brand’s 90th-anniversary installation in Milan this year, where we were greeted with iridescent pool curtains, virtual reality scenarios, and sofa islands, and we knew something had changed.
That installation, curated by Cassina’s art director Patricia Urquiola, was a physical manifestation of Cassina’s 90th-anniversary monograph This Will Be the Place, which was written by our friend and sometime editor Felix Burrichter of PIN-UP Magazine. It is, quite frankly, a remarkably cool book for such a furniture company to produce. Rather than proselytizing about all of the great pieces their workshop has produced over the years, Cassina looks both outward and towards the future, asking others to weigh in on what exactly the concept of “the future” means at this point as well as what the domestic landscape will look like when we reach it. In the first half, Burrichter interviews five experts from the world of architecture and design: Beatriz Colomina argues that any future interior will be based wholly around the bed; Finnish architect Martti Kalliala spins out scenarios that gently mock our current obsessions, including Pinterest, Instagram, co-living spaces, model apartments, and Kinfolk. In the second half, those five ideas are translated into conceptual interiors, outfitted with pieces from Cassina’s catalog. Today we’re excerpting a section called Artful Living, which translates Kalliala’s theories into an interior shot on site at the Villa Erba in Lake Como, Italy, but we highly recommend picking up the book to fully comprehend its conceptual vision.