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Umbrella Chair

Umbrella Chair

Umbrella Chair - 1992

designed by Gaetano Pesce

Exhibition Milan - Hong Kong design, new forms and functions in parallel with Italian iconic works

Gaetano Pesce was born in Italy in 1939 and studied architecture at the University of Venice. After graduating in 1965, he moved between London, Padova, Helsinki, and Paris, before settling in New York in 1980. From the beginning, Pesce’s practice has straddled the boundaries between art, design, urban planning, and architecture, always using his work as a vehicle to communicate his perspective on the world today.

With resin, foam, and plastics as his signature materials, Pesce has designed for companies such as Cassina, B&B Italia, and Vitra. His architectural work includes the Organic Building of Osaka, the Children’s House for Parc de la Villette, the Gallery Mourmons in Belgium, and the TBWA\Chiat\Day office in New York.

Pesce has served as a visiting lecturer and professor at many prestigious institutions in America and abroad, principally the Cooper Union in New York. He is currently a faculty member at the Institut d'Architecture et d'Etude Urbaines in Strasbourg.


Resin and aluminium

W 44 x D 53 x H 81 cm

Though his design objects are unorthodox and resemble art objects in their sculptural and unorthodox forms, Gaetano Pesce considers function an essential part of design: “If it is not practical, it is not a service to those who use it.” Umbrella Chair thus combines the unexpected with the utmost functionality. Pesce is known for his experimentation and innovation in his use of materials. Umbrella chair was inspired by the opening and closing mechanism of umbrellas, when closed it can be used as a cane, and transforms into an umbrella with the push of a button. Umbrella chair was designed for Zero Disegno in 1992. When collapsed, it resembles a closed umbrella and can be used as a cane, with a push of a button, it opens up into a chair. The materials used ensure that it is lightweight and conveniently portable. Umbrella Chair won the Award from Interior Design Magazine in 1995.