AEO

Paolo Deganello with Archizoom

Design: 1973
Production: 1973 to the present
Manufacturer: Cassina s.p.a., Meda, near Milan
Size: 106 x 79 x 70; seat height 50.5 cms
Material: plastic, varnished steel, fabric covering

When Paolo Deganello, cofounder of the Archizoom group from Florence, Italy, presented the “AEO” chair in 1973, it attracted great attention. The chair is undeniably comfortable, but opinions differ on its unusual appearance. One side regards it as a caricature of the robust television chair, the other as an icon of a new functional aesthetic. Deganello investigated the demands on the back, seat, base, and frame and strictly separated these elements by function and material used. The base made of plastic with an organic curve supports an iron framing which distributes forces smoothly and is only partially covered by the seat cushion and the back section. An extremely thick cushion resting on a piece of stretched cloth serves as the seat. The back is made of two-ply canvas and is loosely stretched over a springy back-base, creating sharp folds. In his synthesis of these elements, Deganello does not comply with a particular aesthetic convention but instead sets the different qualities off against each other. Deganello hoped a network of small suppliers would produce the individual parts of the chair and thus link mass production to craftsmanship. This additive concept is reflected in the fact that the chair was available as a “build-it-yourself” kit. “AEO” stands for Alpha and Omega, the first and last letters in the Greek alphabet: the original material and its functionally dictated use are equal aspects of the object. Several years after its eye-catching launch, “AEO” established itself on the market. MK

Designer:
Paolo Deganello mit ‘Archizoom

Paolo Deganello with Archizoom, AEO