“All a designer should strive for,” wrote tastemaker T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, “is to design one successful chair in his entire career.” When Gio Ponti designed his Superleggera Chair in 1957 for Cassina, he did not know that it was to become one of the more successful chairs of the mid-century era, and that it was to be produced continuously to our day. His inspiration was the traditional and low-cost Chiavari Chair, which had been known to every Italian since it was first introduced in the 19thcentury. Ponti was always attempting for perfection and here, he sought to design a chair that is light, stable, simple, and modernist. To put its durability to the test, Ponti threw the Superleggera from the fourth story of an apartment building into the street, where it bounced without breaking. Cassina came out with a smart advertisement program which communicated the notion that it was so light any child could lift it up with only one finger. And the rest is history.
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