The Italian company Cassina makes furniture in the city of Meda Milan.
Umberto Cassina, who died in 1991, and Cesare Cassina, who lived from 1908 to 1981, started the Cassina Amadeo company in 1927. At first, it was just a shop where crafts were made. At the beginning of the 20th century, the family switched from making chairs and barrels to making upholstered furniture.
It used a lot of outside artisans. Its early pieces were mainly made for shops in Milan and large go-betweens. The designs were based on historicist models from the 19th century.
In the 1930s, the company made armchairs and dining room sets for Milan’s Rinascente and Mobilificio di Fogliano. In 1935, the firm’s name changed to Figli di Amadeo Cassina. In 1937–1939, a new workshop was built so that Rationalist models could be worked on more.
At first, contemporary pieces were made for individual decorators, but they were later put into limited production, even though few were new. In 1940, German and French machines were put in place, and Cassina started marketing and shipping. It moved into Modernist styles after a long time.
After World War II, Cassina changed how it made and sold its products. From 1947 to 1952, it made a lot of furniture for the Italian navy. From the 1950s on, Cassina was known all over the world. The new generation of designers pushed the company to the forefront of Modern design.
There was a short time when he worked with Paolo Buffa and a successful time when he worked with architect and designer Franco Albini. Cesare Cassina’s best design partnership was with Gio Ponti. They worked together from 1950 to make furniture like the Distex armchair and the Superleggera side chair, both big hits worldwide and helped build Cassina’s reputation.
In 1960, it started working with Vico Magistretti, and in 1963, it started working with Tobia Scarpa. From 1965 on, it made copies of old Modern designs, starting with Le Corbusier, Jeanneret, and Perriand furniture from the 1920s. Later, furniture by Frank Lloyd Wright, Gerrit Rietveld, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and others were made again. In the late 1980s, the company became part of the Steelcase Group.
Cassina in the news
Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing. https://amzn.to/3ElmSlL
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