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Furniture design

The Oksýs chaise longue taps Pininfarina’s automotive heritage

On the occasion of Milan Design Week 2024, Pininfarina unveils its first collectible furniture piece on show at the Rossana Orlandi Gallery.

In the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, there is an iconic car—a Cisitalia 202, born from Pininfarina‘s visionary design in 1947. Reflecting the aerodynamic revolution of the thirties, it was the first car to grace MoMA’s collection in 1972 with only 170 units ever made. Crafted with artisanal care, the Cisitalia’s hand-hammered aluminium panels embodied a departure from traditional mass production methods, evoking a timeless blend of artistry and engineering. 

Now, inspired by this legacy, Pininfarina embarks on a new chapter, unveiling Oksýs, a collectible furniture piece that mirrors the innovation and craftsmanship of its automotive heritage…

Initial phase of The Oksys chaise longue creation, with efforts concentrated on the construction of the top part.

Since its inception, Pininfarina’s design ethos has been synonymous with a “collectible” approach, crafting unique pieces and limited series that champion form as much as function. Since its establishment by Battista Farina in 1930, the company’s objective has been to craft luxury and grand luxury automobiles that echo the intricacies of haute couture dresses, like the Cisitalia 202.

While continuing its legacy in the automotive sector with bespoke, one-off creations, Pininfarina now extends this approach to furniture design, a transition that has seen the convergence of the brand’s automotive heritage with the world of interiors. 

Blurring the line between product and art, Pininfarina’s latest design triumph is a contemporary take on a chaise lounge, which will be unveiled during Milan Design Week. Called Oksýs, derived from the Greek roots of the word “oxymoron”, the name was carefully chosen by the brand to epitomise the overarching design concept: the harmonisation of seemingly disparate elements into a cohesive whole.

Oksys chaise longue by Pininfarina design _ milan design week 2024 _ collectible _ new
Oksys chaise longue by Pininfarina Design, presented at Rossana Orlandi Gallery

As such, Oksýs mixes natural and artificial elements to create a chaise lounge, which is as functional as it is decorative, defined by a combination of two parts that creates a contrast reflected in different aspects, like light and shadow. 

“Essentially, Oksýs is a fusion between the coarse, rough, raw textures of nature and the smooth, sleek, refined surfaces characteristic of human products,” says Giovanni de Niederhäusern, Senior Vice President of the Architecture and Design division at Pininfarina. “It’s crafted from a single piece of aluminium, symbolising the unity of natural and artificial aspects in our world and highlighting the importance of considering product life cycles.”

Designed for user comfort, the chaise lounge features a top section with a smooth and inviting surface for sitting or reclining. Its subtle incline ensures optimal balance and relaxation, whilst the lower portion evokes the rugged beauty of natural rock formations, mirroring the curves and contours of the sleeker upper section.

Figure 1 _ Oksys chaise longue by Pininfarina design _ milan design week 2024 _ collectible
The Oksys chaise longue after the lower part’s painting.

“The balance we achieved was influenced by the user’s interaction with the lounge chair,” explains Niederhäusern. “Ensuring the person sitting or lying on top was in a comfortable position led us to naturally design the top layer as a smooth surface.”

“With that part refined, we then shaped the bottom to resemble rocks, maintaining the dichotomy while keeping the structure as lightweight as possible until we reached the perfect balance.”

Produced within the same in-house workshops as its cars in Cambiano, Turin, the chaise lounge is the result of a single aluminium casting, a cornerstone material in automotive manufacturing, meticulously moulded and refined by hand. This process closely mirrors the meticulous production phases typical of one-off vehicles, underscoring Oksýs’ connection to automotive design principles.

Oksys chaise longue by Pininfarina Design, presented at Rossana Orlandi Gallery

Oksýs is a significant moment in Pininfarina’s timeline, which the company describes as an “homage to the rich history of its craftsmanship and a look to the future of artisanship as a whole, in this exponentially digital and automated era.”

Since its inception, Pininfarina has been dedicated to crafting exceptional automobiles built to fulfil the dreams of future users. This vision has been made achievable through the fusion of the founder’s visionary creativity and the unparalleled craftsmanship of its workforce. The resonance with Oksýs lies in its individuality and the capacity to produce it entirely within the Pininfarina workshops, today, as the brand has been for nearly a century.

Designed by Marco Becucci, Senior Design Manager at Pininfarina, Oksýs emerged as a commission from renowned gallery owner, Rossana Orlandi, architect and designer, Giulio Cappellini and Pininfarina Chairman, Paolo Pininfarina.

Figure 1 _ Oksys chaise longue by Pininfarina design _ milan design week 2024 _ collectible
Oksys without coverings. At this point, only the mirror surface on the bottom needs to be mounted.

The project makes the brand’s first collectible furniture piece, which will go on show at the eponymic design gallery Spazio Rossana Orlandi. “Rossana undoubtedly is a pivotal benchmark within the realm of collectible design,” says Becucci.

Nonetheless, the relationship between Pininfarina and Rossana goes beyond that of a collaboration; it represents a total alignment of visions and values that has brought to several great projects both sides enjoyed.” In 2021, Pininfarina created a climate-responsive structure, which formed part of RoGUILTLESSPLASTIC, the international project curated by Rossana Orlandi that aims to raise awareness around the re-use and recycling of plastic.

“For all of this, it was imperative for Pininfarina to unveil its inaugural collectible exclusively through the Rossana Orlandi Gallery.” 

Oksys chaise longue by Pininfarina design _ milan design week 2024 _ collectible _ new
Oksys chaise longue by Pininfarina Design, presented at Rossana Orlandi Gallery

Following the debut of Oksýs, which will be produced in a limited series of only three pieces available exclusively at the Rossana Orlandi Gallery, Pininfarina promises additional collectibles yet to be unveiled. Each piece, Niederhäusern says, “will undergo development at its own pace, unfettered by imposed deadlines, ensuring meticulous attention to detail and unhurried craftsmanship.”

Pininfarina will exhibit Oksýs at Rosanna Orlandi Gallery during Milan Design Week, from April 14 to April 21, with opening hours from 9:30 AM to 8:00 PM.

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