The ‘70s was an era that was all about over-the-top glamour and the glitz of disco, which eventually trickled into the realm of interior and furniture design. There was an element of fun and opulence that pervaded the decade, resulting in unconventional designs that brought unexpected material combinations, colors, and silhouettes to the fore.
Just imagine the scene: A sunken living room comprised of a large sofa perfect for sprawling, textured materials and fabrics begging to be touched, the subtle glint that catches your eye from metallic finishes, and deep, rich colors that tie everything together.
This period in design was recently brought to life at Salone del Mobile 2023, where Acerbis, one of the most enduring Italian furniture companies that boasts over a century of expertise, highlighted items from the Remasters collection and placed side by side with iconic 1970s creations.
These include the iconic Due Più seat by Nanda Vigo, as well as Claudio Salocchi’s Free System and Napoleone coffee table. The setting, which was recreated by Acerbis art directors Francesco Meda and David Lopez Quinoces, resulted in an atmosphere that called to mind a highly stylized recreation of the 1970s Milanese living room.
A piece that immediately catches the eye and oozes ‘70s glam is the Due Più armchair by Nanda Vigo. The statement piece, which was first introduced in 1971, is framed by a minimalist metallic structure and uses two rollers that appear to float. It may look uncomfortable, but appearances are deceiving as the chair is surprisingly ergonomic and comfortable in its three uses – regular chair, side chair with the top roller as an armrest, and inverted chair where the backrest-roller is perfect for resting the forearms.
While the original pieces from the ‘70s used voluminous and opulent Mongolian fur, today’s version is more environment-friendly where the "fur" is reclaimed from food industry waste.
Meanwhile, it’s all about free play with Claudio Salocchi’s Free System. According to Meda, “Claudio Salocchi’s design explores the design research of the decade from the 1970s to the 1980s, for the first time included in the Remasters collection: Those 1970s when new ways of living and experimentation were at the core of the Italian designers’ thinking.”
Salocchi introduced the Free System in 1973 – a system of padded furniture derived from the concept of “operated flooring”, or tatami, where the padded units could be placed freely side by side. Going beyond the traditional sofa model, Free System presents a series of elements (tatami, pouf, and seat with different and interchangeable backrests) that make up a modular system that can be arranged in a variety of combinations. What results is an invitation to enjoy the living room in an easy and versatile manner.
Finally, Salocchi’s Napoleone coffee table, which made its debut in 1973 during the 15th Milan Triennale, is more than just a table. It is made up of a brushed stainless-steel bridge that links the two sides, cut so as to fit opposite mirrors and finished with a tempered glass on top. The interplay of reflections and see-through effects allows those seated at the table to see themselves, with interesting “introspective” implications. Today, Acerbis offers two coffee tables from the Napoleone system, which is enhanced by the distinctive polyester lacquering in the color palette, calling to mind the vivid colors of vintage sports cars.
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