Such was the determinism of Gio Ponti (1891-1979) to perfect both functionality and durability in his 1957 Superleggera chair design, he had each prototype thrown from a fourth-floor window, settling only for the eventual design which landed intact.
Ponti pulled off a seemingly impossible juggling act: architect, industrial and furniture designer, even dipping into costume and set design, in a career that spanned six decades. His most famous architectural designs include the Mathematics Department at the University of Rome and the Pirelli Tower in his home city of Milan.
Ponti’s aim in all his commissions was a simple one: marrying simplistic form and functionality and creating a thing of beauty – big or small. His chairs are, for instance, lightweight and uncomplicated shapes but made with durable woods or metals in a timeless style; as lasting a legacy as any of his great buildings.