You Know You Did It Right When People Want To Steal Your Stuff.

Piretti’s Transparent Dreams

That’s what happened in ’67 when this chair was introduced at the Fiera del Mobile in Milan; the exhibition space got so crowded with people and things got so hectic that organizers only realized after the fact that some of their chairs had gone missing.

For the remainder of the fair they had to tie them down with chains, but the demand for them only went up. Designed by Giancarlo Piretti, the ‘Plia’ chair has now sold over 7 million pieces and is still in production today.

It’s as beautiful as any museum piece (MoMA Design has one) but its real ingenuity lies in efficiency; the ‘three-disc hinge’ created by Piretti means the chairs fold to a depth of only 5cm when fully retracted. A complimentary Plia table arrived a year later, and was equally well-received.

Mr. Piretti of course continued designing furniture, and by 1988 he revealed his ‘Collection’ in Chicago; over 50 different styles of chairs! By the mid-nineties over a million of those were sold worldwide. He currently lives in Bologne, Italy, and continues to design furniture with his son Alessandro.

Design + Media