Ciprea Armchair
Afra Scarpa, Tobia Scarpa

Urethane coated fabric, polyurethane foam and ABS plastic frame
31¹⁄₂ x 36¹⁄₄ x 34⁵⁄₈"

Afra & Tobia Scarpa are postmodern Italian designers and architects. The couple was greatly influenced by Tobia’s father, Carlo Scarpa, a Venetian architect and designer. Their pieces can be found in museums across the world, including collections in MoMA and the Louvre Museum. They have collaborated with companies such as B&B Italia, San Lorenzo Silver, and Knoll International. They have won a number of awards such as the Compasso d’Oro in 1970, for their design of the Soriana armchair, to the International Forum Design in 1992. Their design work consists of architecture and everyday household items including interior design, furniture, clothing, art glass.

Afra Bianchin was born in Montebelluna, Italy in 1937, and Tobia Scarpa was born in Venice, Italy in 1935. Both Afra and Tobia Scarpa earned degrees in architecture from the Università Iuav di Venezia in 1957. From 1957 to 1961 Tobia worked as a glass designer at the Murano glassworks of Venini. In 1960 the two artists opened their own design office in Montebelluna. They designed for Gavina (Bastiano sofa, 1961), and followed with a series of projects for several other companies. Their more remarkable works were made for B&B Italia (Coronado sofa, 1966), Cassina (Soriana armchair, 1968), and for Meritalia (Libert chair, 1989). Afra and Tobia Scarpa have designed the interiors of the company’s Paris, Freiburg, and New York offices. In 1973 they designed the Papillion lamp for FLOS, one of the first to use halogen technology. They also worked for Fabbian (Saturnina 1998 and Galeto lamps, 2001), and Veas (Scandola metal lamp) in the later part of their careers. From their first collaborations as husband and wife in the mid-1950s until the present day, their pieces have incorporated new technologies, while still maintaining form, and function. —Casati Gallery

(Photo: MoMA)