Lina Bo Bardi’s Bowl Chair


Maybe it’s just an assumption, but it seems to me that all creatives enjoy looking at early phases of the design process. Even if it’s just a glimpse of a product being manufactured, for some reason it gets the brain ticking over. Like the Bowl chairs seen here for example, designed by Brazilian modernist architect Lina Bo Bardi in 1951. I found these fantastic images and I had to showcase them here. Amongst the photos is a small sheet of sketches and a picture of someone cutting the leather for a small model prototype, which I thought correlated well as I’ve been sketching a lot of furniture lately. Although I’ve not moved on to 3D models, I hope to do soon and this might be the perfect inspiration.

As I said above, the chair itself was designed by Lina Bo Bardi. We’ve featured Lina before and noted her cross-pollination when it came to creative subjects, basically she liked to dabble in a number of fields. A few of the notable ones include architecture, design, illustration, publishing and scenography, all of these came together and she was inspired by each one in different ways. In my eyes it’s easy to see these in her work, she has a keen eye for flowing forms, vibrant colour mixtures, and scales at a variety of levels. The Bowl chair in-particular was a design from early on in her career, when she still believed it was possible to interfere with the course of rapid industrialisation in the 1950’s. Later she actually became very critical of furniture design in general, mainly mass-production, and turned to handicraft to make individual chairs and furnishings for her specific needs (in her houses for example).

These photos today are all thanks to furniture company Arper, who have been granted the rights to produce Lina Bo Bardi’s Bowl chair. Ironically, Arper has worked hard to interpret this chair so it’s applicable to modern manufacturing methods, whilst still trying to remain faithful to the original design. This is shown clearly in one of the photos inside the Arper studio, but it’s great to see such care and precision being applied in this day and age. Hopefully you’ll admire these photos and take something away from this particular chair design, which is a simplistic piece with a iconic presence.











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