Piero Gatti,
Cesare Paolini, Franco Teodoro

Design: 1968
Production: 1968 to the present
Manufacturer: Zanotta s.p.a., Nova
Milanese, near Milan
Size: 68 x 80 x 80 cms; variable seat height
Material: removable cover made of lancio,
polystyrene filling

“Sacco,” or the anatomic chair, as it is still called today in the Zanotta sales catalogues, symbolizes an unprecedented break with tradition. In an era characterized by the hippie culture, apartment sharing and student demonstrations, the thirty-something designers created a nonpoltrona (non-chair) and thus launched an attack on good bourgeois taste.
After negotiations and rejections from the chemical industry, the designers turned to Zanotta with their purist solution of filling a transparent non-rigid PVC envelope with countless pieces of white polystyrene popcorn, resulting in a transparency similar to that of “Blow,” the chair developed at Zanotta the previous year by designers De Pas, D’Urbino, Lomazzi, and Scolari. However, the shell was still not tough enough despite measures such as reinforcing it with synthetic fabric and sewing several segments of it together. Only then did the designers consent to using opaque materials, such as canvas (lancio), imitation leather, and leather.
Because “Sacco” has no fixed form and its loose filling allows it to take on just about any shape, it molds itself to the contours of the body. “Sacco” can be used as a stool, an easy chair, or a chaise longue; it is lightweight and therefore extremely mobile. This unorthodox “furniture” is especially popular among the young and is an expression of unconstrained, relaxed living. The simplicity of the construction has prompted numerous commercial imitators to create more or less successful plagiarisms, and inspired a few hobbyists to dust off their sewing machines; polystyrene pieces used for packaging serve as the material for the filling. The popularity of “Sacco” helped found Italian design’s pioneering reputation in the field during the sixties and seventies. PD

Piero Gatti,
Cesare Paolini, Franco Teodoro

Piero Gatti Cesare Paolini Franco Teodoro Sacco