On the occasion of the XIth Milan Triennial in 1957, Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni presented their first prototype for the Mezzadro. The stool went on show in its current form that same year in an interior setting displayed at the »Colori e forme nella casa d'oggi« exhibition in the Villa Olmo in Como.
The designers used a common tractor seat for the springy metal seat, fastening it with a wing nut to the spring-based arched steel strip utilized in tractors to absorb the shock of uneven ground. They enhanced the stability of the cantilever structure by a wooden cross-strut that resembled the rungs of a wooden ladder.
Each of these parts clearly embodies its task as a part of a functional whole. And what strikes the eye is the recourse to an artistic method exemplified by Marcel DuchampÙs found objects or Pablo PicassoÙs assemblages. The Castiglionis considered a design successful only once they had managed to eliminate all the unnecessary components and an optimal formal expression had been found for this concentration on the essential.
For over two decades, the Vitra Design Museum has been making miniature replicas of milestones in furniture design from its collection. The Miniatures Collection encapsulates the entire history of industrial furniture design – moving from Historicism and Art Nouveau to the New Objectivity of Bauhaus and Radical Design, and from Postmodernism all the way up to the present day. Exactly one sixth of the size of the historical originals, the chairs are all true to scale and precisely recreate the…