“Tube Chair” by Joe Colombo: a revolutionary’s armchair
Joe Colombo (1930-1971) designed “Tube Chair” in 1969, the year after student protests took over streets and squares throughout the West.
The extremely original armchair he invented – combining four hollow cylinders in PVC, foam rubber, and leather – is proof of the deeply oppositional spirit of the Milanese self-professed “anti-designer”. Like many of his fellow artists in Italy and in Europe who gathered under the Radical Design label, and drew inspiration from Pop Art and avant-gardist movements, Colombo used art to express his dissent for mainstream rationalism.
The modular cylinders that make up “Tube Chair” allow the user to customize the armchair’s shape (or join more than one to invent even more imaginative configurations), adapting it to the available space.
At first, Flexform sold “Tube Chair” packaged in a canvas bag similar to the ones used for sleeping bags.
It definitely was a revolutionary’s armchair.