×

Subscribe to our newsletter

Highlights From the Previous Week, Partnered Events and Haikus. View our Newsletter archive

The Componibili Turn 50

The ADAM – Brussels Design Museum, in collaboration with Milan’s Kartell Museo, is presenting a tribute to Anna Castelli Ferrieri’s Componibili furniture

Scroll right to read more ›
Text by Rab Messina
Photography by C. Licoppe and ADAM - Design Museum Brussels

Architect and designer Anna Castelli Ferrieri had a plastic mind and a mind for plastic: in the late 60s, she was one of the first in her professional niche to realise the potential of the then-new ABS polymer. In 1967 she turned the thermoplastic into the Componibili, a series of modular furniture for Kartell that responded to the living needs of a younger audience.

Today, 50 years after the project became a reality, the ADAM – Brussels Design Museum —in collaboration with Lombardy’s Kartellmuseo— is hosting A Tribute to Componibili, an emotional celebration of her vision.

“Anna Castelli Ferrieri was able to understand, often before her male colleagues, the living needs of her times and she responded with very functional products such as the Componibili, which bore out that concept of modularity and became a leitmotif lasting down through the following decades,” explained Arnaud Bozzini, ADAM’s exhibition director.

The modular pieces of furniture lent themselves to interpretation: instead of serving pre-defined living functions —say, a night table—, the items were customisable to the particular needs of their users. Five decades later, they are lending themselves to another type of interpretation: designers such as Ron Arad, Alessandro Mendini, Patricia Urquiola and the Missoni house prepared their customised versions of Componibili. What’s more, Belgian designers Unfold Design Studio, Xavier Lust and Muller Van Severen are presenting their new interpretations of the Milanese visionary’s furniture.

A Tribute to Componibili is on display until January 21

componibili_adam_kartell
A Kartell timeline
componibili_adam_kartell
The Componibili in use
componibili_adam_kartell
A tribute to Anna Castelli Ferrieri's contribution, left, on the wall
componibili_adam_kartell
Ron Arad's version
componibili_adam_kartell
Muller Van Severen's Componibili tower
A very Nendo interpretation
A very Nendo interpretation
componibili_adam_kartell
Philippe Starck's humorous take
componibili_adam_kartell
Xavier Lust's very happy Componibili
componibili_adam_kartell
Patricia Urquiola's take
componibili_adam_kartell
Designers and their Componibili
Back

Articles you also might like

Conceived as a site-specific narrative, this collaborative exhibition by artist Li Qing and curator Jérôme Sans presents an in-depth exploration of the history and space of Prada Rong Zhai, creating a connection between the urban environment of Shanghai, its past, present and future.