A Tribute to Cini Boeri: 1924-2020

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    Cini Boeri was a formidable, multi-awarded Italian architect and pioneering designer who graduated from Milan Polytechnic in 1951 with a degree in Architecture. She interned for a short while with Gio Ponti, before going on to work with Marco Zanuso, before founding her own practice Cini Boeri Architetti in 1963.

    She collaborated with renowned names including Artemide, Knoll and Arflex, the brand she created some of her most significant designs for including the foam Bobo chair in 1967 and the Serpentone Sofa in 1971, created from vertical polyurethane foam panels strung together like a concertina, which could be bought by the metre to fit any desired space.

    “Being a woman means thinking about design with a female sensibility in its aesthetic, functional and qualitative aspects, as well in terms of the experience it will produce and how it will change over time. We should remember that we are architects, not stylists, not decorators, not furnishers.”

     

    – Cini Boeri (2012)

    This was followed by the iconic modular seating system Strips, where oversized foam bricks are stacked together like Tetris tile. She was awarded the Compasso d’Oro industrial design award for her design as well as being included in the permanent collection of the Milan Triennale. She continued to create extraordinary pieces throughout her life including the Ghost chair, created from a single pane of glass for Fiam in 1987.

    “There is nothing affected or elitist in the essentialism of her architecture, just as there is nothing austere or penitent in the minimalism of her furniture design projects,” remembers her architect son, Stefano Boeri.

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