The Bowl Chair, an innovative work by the Italian-Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi, was presented at Caigo da Mar design boutique, thanks to Arper. The design firm that had recently launched a limited and numbered edition of 500 pieces in partnership with the Instituto Lina Bo P. M. Bardi of Sao Paulo in Brazil, custodians and promoters of the Bardi’s valuable legacy to the arts.

Lina Bo Bardi was a Roman-born architect who became Brazilian when, together with her husband, she moved to work to Sao Paulo, where she spent most of the second half of her life.

With her work she advocated for handcrafted pieces and always tried to bring the ideals of Modernism into the core knowledge raised by popular culture. She claimed, for instance, that modern architecture should consider mass production as its basis, noting that ‘mass-production’ exists first in nature itself.

As a result of her determination to set the balance between industrialised fabrication and the individualised object, Lina Bo Bardi devised the prototype for the Bowl Chair in 1951, where she relied on a light structure to support the essential form of a semi-spherical seat which could change its inclination according to the user. This way she was actively rebelling against the prevailing angular forms and upright chairs more commonly found. She introduced instead more rounded shapes which encouraged a natural and relaxed posture and that, most importantly, placed human interaction as main guidance during the design process.

The Bowl Chair, as produced in this edition made by Arper, had been slightly reinterpreted. For instance, the lack of precise measures and technical details on the original sketches gave an opportunity to Arper to carry out an in-depth analysis of the original prototype. As a result, some little changes were made, the original hand-forged iron interior, heavy and inflexible, was replaced with a plastic one which proves to better meet the demands of contemporary industrial production.

The Bowl Chair of this Arper edition that was on view at Caigo da Mar is made out of black leather and accepts variations in seven different colours, each matching three sets of cushions which can come in the same colour of the shell or decorated with patterns inspired by Lina Bo Bardi’s original sketches.

Ph. Cristina Galliena Bohman