Regardless of whether you loved or hated the 70s (or you’re just too young to remember), you can’t deny the fact that it was definitely a memorable decade. Those 10 years spawned milestones in politics, fashion, dancing, lifestyles, and of course, furniture design. While many of those ideas and trends have since faded away without resurrection, the most unforgettable furniture of that era has just been reborn.
The US quickly embraced disco in the 1970s, but the movement was actually born in Italy in the mid-1960s — around the same time that Fratelli Gugliermetto established the furniture manufacturer Gufram. Giorgio Ceretti, Pietro Derossi, Riccardo Rosso and the other radical architects of the era designed a number of Italy’s most posh discotheques and collaborated with Gufram to design the seats for them. This eventually led to Gufram teaming up with the renowned Studio 65 to create a small number of furniture pieces that captured the spirit of the decade, including the lip-shaped “Bocca” sofa.
We Are Family
In 2011, the Vezza family purchased Gufram. Charley Vezza’s mother, Sandra, was a big Gufram fan who had collected the company’s designs for decades. Charley immediately created a team to research Gufram’s history and invited emerging designers to take advantage of its famous past and trailblazing accomplishments. He was concurrently conjuring up a furniture collection in his head, and when he spotted one of design duo Rotganzen’s deflated disco balls, the idea for a disco-themed furniture line was born.
With visions of Donna Summer dancing in his head, Vezza came upon a catalog of disco furniture from the 1980s in the Gufram annals. He was inspired by the collection and shared it with the designers over at Atelier Biagetti in Milan. An assortment of modular furniture in the catalog was particularly stimulating, as was the continuing success of famous 70s discothequess Baia Imperiale and Coccoricò. A new chapter in Italian design caught fire.
More, More, More
Gufram’s old catalog and Vezza’s passion for the project resulted in five new modular sofa designs. The new line includes an oversized velvet piece, a group of shimmering pouffes, a plaid and pink neon design, a gilded leather sectional couch, and a soft globule of sparkling lilac.
When the designers saw a particularly impressive floor covering at Centre Pompidou, they were awestruck. They learned that Gaëlle Gabillet and Stéphane Villard’s Paris-based design studio GGSV had created the design and soon commissioned them to craft a series of detailed dance floor-inspired rugs for the Gufram project. The designers explain that these unique rugs encourage dancers to position themselves in their centers and “do the freak.”
Gufram’s highly-anticipated collection debuted during the 2017 Milan Design Week. The exhibit recalled the controversial and exciting time in the 1960s when the Radical Design movement ruled. Gufram is revitalizing the revelry of that era in 2018 with the assistance of three of the world’s most innovative designers: Atelier Biagetti (Italy), Rotganzen (Netherlands), and GGSV (France).