Whoever said that outdoor spaces couldn’t be stylish was wrong. And the Carlotta lounge chair proves them wrong. This creation by the design couple Afra and Tobia Scarpa is both chic and comfortable. It’s perfect for an outside patio, relaxing below the sun and next to a barbecue. The Carlotta armchair is also ideal for younger people on a budget but don’t want to give up on beauty. This is the perfect compromise.
In this piece of furniture, the best and main concepts of Italian design meet. The Carlotta chair by Afra and Tobia Scarpa creates emotions. It’s not a deco piece; it’s supposed to be used. Better if used with the right company, around a firepit, and with marshmallows to roast. But it’s also innovative and practical, easy to assemble, and mass-produce. Indeed, it embodies industrial design at its finest.
This is a zero pretense piece of furniture. The couple of designers produced it in 1967 for the Italian company Cassina, which still makes the Carlotta lounge chair nowadays. The couple designed it to be easy to produce and to assemble. The wooden structure and composition are innovative in their simplicity. In fact, this armchair features a structure of four rectangular frames. Each of these frames, which matches each other, is designed for the backrest, armrests, and the seat.
The cushions are simply attached with elastic cords, so they are easy to move and remove, perhaps for washing. The padded cushions are comfortable, and they feature padding of polyurethane foam. There is no plastic, no steel, and no leather in this piece of furniture. It’s wood and fabric, a combination of complementing materials. Only six bolts are required to assemble the Carlotta chair, so anyone can do it without wasting time. This armchair is set and ready to hit the back garden and patio in a few minutes.
The History Behind It
What makes the Carlotta lounge chair special? More than its aesthetic, it’s its purpose and concept. First of all, this armchair is perfect for mass production. The design company Cassina wanted to bring Italian excellence to the world. But, to succeed, the process had to be quick and economical. Still, Italian design had to be associated with craftsmanship and quality. So, designers like Afra and Tobia Scarpa had to find the right compromise between affordability and beauty.
Plus, the Carlotta armchair launches the do it your own concept. Nowadays, the DIY concept is famous and widespread, with people who create, assemble and invent. They had the same freedom with this chair, all the way back in 1967. It’s easy to assemble and affordable, perfect for younger people. Even the packaging of the Carlotta lounge chair was simple, with comfortable handles to move. The two designers had big ideas for this chair. In fact, they proposed the Young Play collection to Cassina. The series would focus on affordable yet stylish pieces. Plus, every piece of furniture was supposed to be easy to produce and to assemble.
While Cassina didn’t invest into the idea of affordable furniture for young people, the views of the two designers proved their creative and innovative minds. So, Afra and Tobia Scarpa went on to create the 121 and Soriana chair for Cassina. The Italian design company kept collaborating with the couple, just like it partnered up with Gio Ponti, Vico Magistretti, and Gianfranco Frattini. Despite Young Play’s rejection by Cassina, the Carlotta lounge chair is an icon of Italian, young, and playful design. That’s why Cassina is producing it.