Bobo Sofa by Cini Boeri for ArfleX, 1967

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The Bobo sofa, an iconic product by Cini Boeri, began production with Arflex in 1967. This piece of furniture was born out of Boeri’s exploration into the potential applications of polyurethane, which started a year earlier. The result was not just a sofa but a range of seating options, including a psychoanalysis chair, chaise lounge, and high chair. 

The Birth of Bobo Sofa

Boeri’s initial idea was to create a finished product using only polyurethane without the need for any covering. However, due to cost considerations, the decision was made to cut the polyurethane and cover it with elastic fabric. Despite this change, the Bobo sofa became the first chair made entirely from a block of differentiated-density polyurethane without an internal core. This innovation secured its place in the history of industrial design.

Bobo Sofa by Cini Boeri

A Breakthrough in Material Usage

The Bobo features a structure made from shaped polyurethane of differentiated density and polyester fiber on a poplar plywood base with nylon caps. With the Bobo sofa, Cini Boeri pushed the boundaries of what was possible with polyurethane foams. The use of these materials reflected a taste for informal aesthetics, offering a soft and welcoming seat that also served as a fun and original piece of furniture.

The Pop Style of Bobo Sofa

The Bobo sofa embodies a pop style. It is completely removable and available in different fabric and color variants. This significant piece of design was showcased at the Triennale di Milano, further cementing its status in the design world.

Bobolungo by Arflex, 1967

The Bobo Family

From the Bobo sofa, other pieces were born, including the Bobolungo chaise lounge (later called Boborelax) and the Boboletto daybed. These additions turned the Bobo sofa into an unusual and intriguing family of essential furniture. They stand as an example of pure design, without labels or adjectives.

Boboletto by Arflex

The Bobo Lounge Chair: An Extension of Innovation

The Bobo lounge chair (or Bobolungo) is another remarkable creation that emerged from this innovative line. It carries the same essence as the Bobo sofa, showcasing the versatility of polyurethane and the unique design ethos of Cini Boeri.

Bobolungo by Cini Boeri

Arflex’s Visionary Collaboration with Cini Boeri

Arflex, founded in 1948 in Milan by a group of Pirelli engineers — Aldo Bai, Pio Reggiani, and Aldo Barassi — embarked on its journey by incorporating innovative materials for upholstered furniture, such as foam rubber and elastic bands produced by Pirelli. The company set itself apart through a dedication to pioneering material research long before environmental consciousness entered the mainstream. Following the company’s acquisition by Seven Salotti, Pierantonio Colombo, owner of Seven Salotti, assumed the role of president, fortifying the brand’s vision and influence.

An influential figure in Arflex’s history is architect Marco Zanuso, a founding contributor whose Lady armchair earned a gold medal at the IX Triennale di Milano in 1951. Collaborations with renowned architects like Zanuso, Cini Boeri, Joe Colombo, and Franco Albini led to distinctive designs that garnered international acclaim and were prominently featured in exhibitions, including the Triennale di Milano. Cini Boeri’s collaboration with Arflex, particularly the Bobo sofa, underscored a synergy that united material innovation with an informal aesthetic as she leveraged the company’s revolutionary foam technologies to create iconic furniture pieces that transcended their time.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Bobo sofa and the Bobo lounge chair are more than just pieces of furniture. They represent a revolutionary approach to material application and industrial design. Their soft, inviting form and ability to transform spaces with their pop style make them timeless additions to any interior.

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