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Deconstructing the Chair-Gaetano Pesce

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gaetano pesce italian designers, shadow chair

In the history of modern design, weve seen ball chairs, invisible chairs, mushroom chairs and even a chair shaped like a giant pair of lips.  Now, just when you thought there was nothing more that could possibly be done with the chair, along comes Italian designer Gaetano Pesce to completely and totally challenge every preconception of what a chair is and should be.  This new chair, called the Shadow, has no formal shape but unlike a beanbag chair, it has a back and arms.  Because it is made from a special type of polyurethane, it is able to move and then solidify according to the shape of whatever body happens to be occupying it.   Which makes it incredibly comfortable although whether or not you think its beautiful is entirely another matter. 

Perhaps the most amazing thing about this very new, very un-chair-like chair is the fact that its designer is not some new hotshot out to un-do everything thats been done before.  Gaetano Pesce is, to put it bluntly, an old guy.  He was born in 1939, and has been a respected architect and designer, a professor, and a pioneer whose work has been featured at MoMa and the Victoria and Albert Museum.  Which means, love it or hate it, the Shadow Chair has some serious design street cred behind it and could very well join the Ball and the Lips in the fraternity of iconic chairs.


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