Culture

Designer : Afra and Tobia Scarpa

Afra and Tobia Scarpa are a brilliant Italian design couple. They are known for their impressive imagination and curiosity. These qualities have led the duo to design furniture, lighting, offices and even factories!

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Afra Bianchin and Tobia Scarpa were both born in Italy in 1937 and 1935 respectively. They studied and met at the University Institute of Architecture in Venice. They began their careers in 1958, specialising in the creation of Murano glass products. They soon came to the attention of design professionals. They worked with big names in publishing such as B&B Italia, Cassina and Knoll. Together they have designed several chairs:

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Soriana chair (1970), Monk chair (1973)

Tobia Scarpa has designed dozens of lighting designs for Flos:

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Jucker lamp (1963), Foglio wall lamps (1966), Nuvola floor lamp (1960s)

In the 1960s, the duo began a long collaboration with Benetton. Various projects were completed, such as the textile factory in Treviso (1974) and the interiors of the offices in Freiburg, Paris and New York (1980s).

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Benetton offices by Afra and Tobia Scarpa © Gabriele Basilico

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Benetton desks by Afra and Tobia Scarpa © floornature.it

In 1969, the Scarpa couple won the Compasso d’Oro – the famous award for the best Italian design pieces – for the Soriana chair published by Cassina. This chair bears witness to their visionary approach to seating.

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Afra and Tobia Scarpa also won the iF Design Award in 1992, and several of their designs can be found in major museums around the world. The duo has made a significant contribution to the development of Italian design worldwide.

Find Afra and Tobia Scarpa’s pieces available on Design Market

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