In the early 1980s, the Pratt Institute, a private institution of higher education based in New York, asked Gaetano Pesce to experiment with new industrial materials to use for furniture designs. This request was honoured by the Italian designer, who produced a series of nine chairs, ll featuring different qualities. However, only the eighth prototype in the set achieved perfect balance, being comfortable as well as very solid structurally. Pesce’s artistic vision, whichis both playful and sensitive, is expressed through the iconography used in this collection. It includes smiling faces, playing cards, geometric forms, a series of dots illustrating the Pythagorean theorem and a bunch of grapes, all of which were pressed into the mould’s surface. The top of the chair features a hollowed- out impression of hands, indicating where it may be picked up and moved.
GAETANO PESCE [b.1939] is one of the key figures in the Italian Anti-Design movement. He studied architecture in Venice and graduated in 1965, having also attended courses at the Institute of Industrial Design. Pesce explores the possibilites presented by the new polyurethane foam [PUR], the result of experimental work by Italian furniture company C&B [Cassina & Buselli]. The fluid quality of this material allows the designer to create anthropmorphic forms. Gaetano Pesce is opposed to the notion of standardised production. He therefore introduces disruptive elements into various stages of the manufacturing process, in order to make each object unique.