Sometimes they’re just waiting to be rediscovered. Furnishing pieces by the great 20th century designers, which have lain forgotten in company archives for a while, are fast becoming must-haves. They have a history, they have admirers and they also have a market. It goes without saying that many brands have opted to leverage their heritage, relaunching historic design as part of their key innovations. Naturally these pieces have to be sifted through, but their assembly also counts. Re-editions can be philological or revived with a contemporary accent, as regards the choice of colours and materials, for instance, thus bringing these icons in line with contemporary taste – and especially in terms of performance and current sustainability.
Lorenzo Butti, Art Director and founder of the Lake Como Design Festival, deliberately included a show devoted to the theme of re-editions at the last exhibition, in the enchanting and original setting of Palazzo Mantero. “For the last six years or so, companies have found that re-editing consolidated pieces is a more profitable process. It’s also a way of keeping the culture of twentieth-century Italian design, which represents a unique period, alive,” said Mr Butti.
They are objects rooted in the collective imagination if not in people’s lives, and thus channel a greater sense of identity and reassurance (not to be sniffed at times of crisis). They express values that time has failed to tarnish. As the late journalist Mario Missiroli pointed out, there’s nothing more unedited than the edited. Clearly, this also goes for furniture.
The following are some re-editions of pieces by great designers, plucked from the coffers of history.
The Pigreco chair by Tobia Scarpa