Italian Furniture Designer Alberto Meda
During the emergence of the modernist style, modern furniture was designed by individuals with all kinds of backgrounds. With a centralist theme of combining form with function, Alberto Meda came from a background as a mechanical engineer. With a natural inclination towards the functional side of modern furniture design, he grasped and incorporated the naturalist, organic forms that were expressed through his contemporaries.
Born in Lenno, an Italian province of Como in 1945, after graduating from the Politecnico di Milano in 1969, he went on to be the manager in charge of furniture production and plastic laboratory equipment for Kartell. Exposed to the synthesis of technology and product design he became a freelance designer for several large well-known furniture and product companies such as Vitra, Philips and Alfa Romeo Auto.
In particular, Vitra commissioned him to design his first chair this included the “Meda” a sleek office chair that was designed with ultimate comfort with minimal structure . He has won numerous awards for his designs including the I.D. design review “Best of Category” with Vitra for the Meda chair as well as the INDEX award in 2007 for the Solar Bottle. INDEX is a Denmark based non-profit that promotes designs that contribute to the improvement of people’s lives worldwide. His design of the Solar Bottle allows for the treatment of microbiologically contaminated water by the absorption of UV rays that disinfect the water. Included is a handle that allows for transportation of the container as well as providing for the proper angled placement of the bottle to capture as much sun as possible.
His “Light light” chair, 1987, “Soft light” chair 1989, “Longframe” 1991 and the “On-Off; lamp 1988 are part of the permanent collection in the Museum of Modern Art in New York and are typical of his minimalist, functional designs. The “Longframe” is a fluid undulation of form combining the technologies of extrusion and die-casting. Working in aluminum both the frame and the seating mesh appear light and organic in form. The “On-Off” lamp is designed to be able to be turned off by moving the lamp from side to side rather than by a switch. It was designed to work with an LED light bulb.
His work with modern tables might best be seen in “Frametable” 2001. It is a folding table that is also designed to be able to hang from a wall like a painting featuring the unique “x” design. With an embossed aluminum alloy composite top supported by aluminum legs, it is as unique in use as in its folded state.