Fritz Hansen celebrates 100 years of Vico Magistretti with re-release of Vico Duo chair

Calum Lindsay | 30 April 2020

Danish furniture brand Fritz Hansen‘s head of design Christian Andresen discusses the legacy of Italian designer Vico Magistretti in this talk filmed as part of the VDF x Fritz Hansen collaboration.

The talk was held to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the late Italian designer and architect’s birth, which Fritz Hansen is marking with the rerelease of the Vico Duo chair.

Fritz Hansen and Virtual Design Festival celebrate 100 years of Vico Magistretti
This year is the 100th anniversary of Italian designer Vico Magistretti’s birth

In the talk, Andresen talks to Dezeen’s founder and editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs about Vico Magistretti’s work and legacy.

The conversation took place over video chat, with Andresen appearing from the Fritz Hansen headquarters in Denmark and Fairs moderating from his home in London.

Fritz Hansen and Virtual Design Festival celebrate 100 years of Vico Magistretti
Fritz Hansen is marking the anniversary with the rerelease of the Vico Duo chair

Andresen identifies Magistretti as part of an elite group of Italians who achieved success in both furniture design and architecture in the 20th century. «Magistretti, [Achille] Castiglioni and Gio Ponti were probably the three that were most successful in in switching between architecture, furniture and interior,» he said in the video.

Magistretti completed the Vico chair, his first project for Fritz Hansen, in 1994 when he was 74 years old. He went on to design the first iteration of the Vico Duo chair in 1997.

Fritz Hansen and Virtual Design Festival celebrate 100 years of Vico Magistretti
The armrests and back legs of the Vico Duo chair are formed of one piece of bent tubular steel

According to Andresen, Magistretti designed Vico Duo «to have a little movement, a little speed in its design language,» visible in the chair’s streamlined zed-shaped armrests that are formed of the same piece of tubular steel as its back legs.

Andresen describes the designer’s visits to the Fritz Hansen headquarters in the final working years of his life, during which Magistretti sported a mellow disposition and demonstrated an appetite for challenge.Related storyDesigners need to focus on the afterlife of their products says Oki Sato

During the talk, Andresen also explained how Fritz Hansen has evolved from a one-man carpentry outfit in the nineteenth century into a major producer of design furniture.

He discussed some of the other 20th century designers that have worked with Fritz Hansen including Arne Jacobsen and Poul Kjaerholm, as well as contemporary collaborators such as Nendo and Jaime Hayon.

Fritz Hansen and Virtual Design Festival celebrate 100 years of Vico Magistretti
Fritz Hansen collaborated with Dezeen to host a talk to commemorate the anniversary

Andresen also gave viewers a glimpse of the forest that surrounds Fritz Hansen’s recently revamped headquarters, and once provided the lumber to produce the brand’s furniture.

Explaining how Fritz Hansen retains a consistent identity across its collaborations with diverse designers with their own styles, Andresen says: «Designers do not work for us, they work with us.»

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