Furniture design

A design icon from the 70s: Joe Colombo’s Multichair

The re-edition of Joe Colombo’s Multichair by B—Line: a unique design icon from 1970 that is surprisingly contemporary

In the 1960s and 1970s, furniture design was truly experimental: to such an extent that when you look at pieces produced back then (like the iconic Joe Colombo’s Multichair by B—Line) you perceive them as totally contemporary.

To some extent almost futuristic.

It’s a consideration that explains, at a glance, why a company producing contemporary pieces (such as B—Line) also works on the re-edition of iconic furnishing from those decades: design icons, carefully selected to fit perfectly in today’s interiors and suitably clustered in a collection named Timeless.

Joe Colombo_Boby_Honey - B—Line (7)
Boby by Joe Colombo Part of B—Line’s Timeless Collection

The revolutionary design approach in the 60s and 70s

Since 1999, thanks to a curated selection process and the recovery of original moulds, B—Line brings back to life iconic 1960s and 1970s furniture.

Experimental pieces, conceived by designers who wanted to abandon the somewhat deterministic Modernist approach of form-follows-function and embrace the lifestyle cultural revolution. 

They did so by playing with shapes, materials and contexts of use: and design became a tool to support younger generations in promoting a freer way of life and a more welcoming, light and engaging relationship with their homes. 

This is the context that BLine taps into for its Timeless collection that includes projects by Rodolfo Bonetto, Kazuhide Takahama and, above all, Joe Colombo whose iconic Multichair – which can also be seen at the MoMA and New York Metropolitan Museum of Art – is one of the collection’s most interesting additions.

Multichair by Joe Colombo Part of B—Line’s Timeless Collection

Joe Colombo’s futuristic design

Joe Colombo (1930-1971) was, undoubtedly, one of the designers leading the way towards the domestic revolution.

His furniture pieces were a hymn to dynamism, conceived to evolve with the people who used them. 

Habits change, the interior of the rooms must change with them”, he famously said.

In the past, space was static.

Our century is instead characterized by dynamism, there is a fourth dimension: time.

It is necessary to introduce this fourth dimension into space so that space becomes dynamic”. 

And, again, “Coordinated blocked, freely positioned in the domestic landscape, allow us to live in tune with the present and to create a nearby, possible future”.

In 2022, B—Line has launched a re-edition of Joe Colombo’s Supercomfort armchair and a special edition of the Multichair.

Designed in 1970, re-edited by B—Line in 2004 and now available in a special edition featuring the Sprinkles fabric by Kvadrat, the Multichair is one of Joe Colombo’s most notable and famous pieces. 

 Multichair by Joe Colombo_Special Edition 2022 _ Part of B—Line’s Timeless Collection

How does Joe Colombo’s Multichair work?

Joe Colombo’s Multichair is a convertible system based on the different combinations of two elements, which can also be used singularly.

It is formed of two rounded blocks (cushions) with a steel structure covered with polyurethane foam padding and stretch fabric upholstery.

Connected by leather belts that can be freely positioned on 4 sets of chromium-plated satin-finished steel buckles, the blocks can be moved in a wide variety of positions.

Multichair is, thus, exactly what its name promises: reclined lounge seat, a stand-up easychair, a daybed, a single pouf with a footer element.

Multichair_Joe Colombo’s Multichair by B—Line
 Multichair by Joe Colombo_Special Edition 2022 _ Part of B—Line’s Timeless Collection

Joe Colombo’s Multichair: the B—Line re-edition

One glance at the Multichair is enough to understand that, despite being 52 years old, its design is still extremely contemporary.

The possibility to customize it and to use it with a wide variety of purposes (as a relaxing lounge, as a conversational seat, as a lie-down retreat) makes the Multichair perfectly suitable for today’s domestic landscapes, where spaces are multi-function and where activities also vary during the day (work during the day, relax/social gatherings at night for instance). 

Its eye-catching aesthetics – powered by the organic shapes of the cushions and the strong colors of the fabrics – make the B—Line Multichair by Joe Colombo a stand-alone piece in a room: appreciated by design lovers, selected by interior designers worldwide and loved by the public at large.

Multichair_Joe Colombo’s Multichair by B—Line
Multichair by Joe Colombo and 4/4 by Rodolfo Bonetto Part of B—Line’s Timeless Collection


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