Gruppo Strum – Pratone Chair (1966)
The Pratone Chair was inspired from the word pratone that means “big lawn”, and is a chair that has the shape of long green stalks. The design is light years away from our usual furniture; the blades of grass flexible, making the chair suitable for lounging, hiding, and playing.
The chair was conceived during the anti-design Cultural Revolution, and responds directly to the restrictive aesthetics of the period.Its grass-like appearance supplies a biological and natural element, which is then abstracted and ultimate combined with the artificiality of its industrial materials. The Pratone Chair plays with proportion and material incongruities, developed of polyurethane foam creating a seat and a lounging surface that can be used in many different positions, as it flexes its shape, to fit around the user.
The unconventional concept is designed in 1966 by Gruppo Strum, a group of Italian architects; Pietro Derossi, Giorgio Ceretti and Riccardo Rosso united in opposition to the functionalist International Style. It was produced from 1971 by the company Gufram.
The action of sitting is complicated by the design, suggesting that we can no longer rely on the habitual bend in the hips’ movement associated with sitting – a gesture intended to free people from social conditioning.
Author: Anna Marie Fisker