Antropus Chair
Italy, 1949
Marco Zanuso

40 × 31½ × 34”

Marco Zanuso was a modern Italian artist, architect, designer, and industrial designer. He studied architecture at the Politecnico di Milano from 1935 to 1939 afterwards teaching architecture, design, and urban planning until opening his office in Milan in 1945. In the late 1940s he began collaboration with Arflex to create a furniture collection utilizing a groundbreaking combination of polyurethane foam and elastic tape; his iconic Lady Armchair won the gold medal at Milan’s IX Triennale. Following the end of World War II, he lent his expertise as the co-editor of Domus and editor of Casabella magazine.

From 1957 to 1977 Zanuso partnered with German industrial designer Richard Sapper to create a new brand of techno-functionalist design including, the 1966 Grillo Telephone for Siemens and a series of mobile housing units for the Museum of Modern Art New York’s noteworthy Italy: The New Domestic Landscape exhibition in 1972. —Wright

Antropus was created at the end of the 1940s when Marco Zanuso was commissioned to design the sets for the Italian-language version of Thornton Wilder’s play The Skin of Our Teeth, which was dubbed “La Famiglia Antropus” in Italian, and was performed at the Piccolo Teatro in Milan. The architect worked with Arflex to produce an armchair fully upholstered in foam rubber; at the time, this material was considered highly innovative and was being promoted for use in domestic furniture-making for its expressive, and industrial ergonomic potential. The present-day version of this chair features polyurethane foam CFC free. This lends itself to creating a oversized and comfortable seat and back-rest that fit snugly into the slender, curving profile of the side panels. —Cassina

(Photo: Wright)