Arflex, meaning flexible furniture in Italian, was founded in 1947 by a group of Pirelli technicians, who experimented by making furniture with unorthodox materials such as foam rubber and elastic tape. In 1951, the brand introduced their first seminal designs, including the award winning "Lady" armchair, designed by Marco Zanuso. Still in production, the groundbreaking piece, constructed of metal and upholstery, became a symbol of modern Italian design of the 1950s and is part of MoMa’s permanent collection. (Other Arflex pieces are also featured at the Chicago Athenaeum; the Triennale in Milan; the Triennale in Tokyo; and the Museum of Contemporary Furniture in Ravenna.)
Arflex’s shape-shifting reputation continued over the ensuing decades with numerous projects that traversed the worlds of design, automotive production and engineering. During the late 1960s, Arflex’s myriad technological and design innovations included furniture made with polyester resins, glass materials and polyurethane foam.
An Arflex Sofa is a well known, sought after piece. Designer collaborators have included such icons as Carlo Brassi, Joe Columbo, Michele De Lucchi and Studio Sottsass. From its production plant and popular Museum in Giussano, just north of Milan, Arflex design continues to leave its imprimatur on the global design landscape. Here, the design studio continues to produce design classics beloved around the world, whilst continuing their legacy of collaborating with some of design’s most exciting names, most recently with Mario Ruiz, Claesson Koivisto Rune and Luca Nichetto.