The Libro Chair by Pareschi, to read and rest

Pareschi Poltrona libro

Groucho Marx once said, “I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book”.

The American comedian probably had a comfortable chair in that “other room”, but we are sure he would have appreciated the ironic Libro Chair designed by Gianni Pareschi and Umberto Orsoni in 1970 – a constructive, permanent admonishment against cathode rays’ “hypnosis” and TV-induced numbing of the mind.

The armchair by Pareschi-Orsoni has a metal load-bearing structure and cushioned plastic mobile elements, allowing users to leaf through it like a book; turning a page changes the inclination of the seat. Although it left the audience speechless at its launch, over time it has come to be recognized as a revolutionary design icon.

You can sit on it to read – taking a page from Groucho’s book, to continue in the book metaphor – or lounge on it to rest. Perhaps you will need to do both: let’s not forget that the Sicilian novelist Gesualdo Bufalino said, “Writing a book is nothing. Reading it is the real struggle.”

June 10, 2014