Lina Bo Bardi – Bowl Chair (1951)


Lina Bo Bardi (Roma, 1914 – São Paulo, 1992) the Brazilian Italian architect – fundamental in the development of Brazilian aesthetic thought in the second half of the 20th century – showed her interest in the versatility and sociability of everyday objects of indigenous and Caiçara communities, such as hammocks and tigelas.

In the case of Bowl Chair, a circular morphology very similar to the vernacular tigela was chosen. It is supported by a metal ring with four and equidistant feet. A portion of sphere rests on it – a cuia, cumbuca or tigela (bowl) – covered by a light layer of leather and foam and with a small circular cushion inside. In Lina’s own words, in the Bowl Chair, it is possible to “read, think, lie down, nest and sleep”.

This chair project keeps two fundamental points of the architect’s creative thought. She claims for the popular and defends the recognition of the vernacular in the structuring of modern models, a characteristic that persists practically in all her work. She vindicates the social character of design and architecture. Lina thinks of architectural space as a habitat, so the user is always a special element of the project.

 In Bowl Chair, she made particular emphasis on the relationship between the woman’s body and the object, as it can be seen in the photos published in “Interiors” (1953) in which the architect herself demonstrates “in different poses” the versatility of her design.


Author: Renata Ribeiro dos Santos

 Photos: Instituto Bardi / Casa de Vidro