Cini Boeri – Italian Furniture Designer

Posted on 7th September 2011 in Furniture Designers

Cini Boeri – Born in Milan in 1924, she is an Italian designer who studied and graduated as an architect from the Politecnico di Milano University in 1951.

Starting her own modern furniture design studio in 1963, she released the first mono-block polyurethane foam seat absent of internal structure. It was produced by Arflex, an Italian furniture company. This began a long period of cooperation between her and Marco Zanuso, founder of the firm.

Working again with polyurethane, the “Serpentone” sofa was designed with thin strips of this material wrapped around a flexible central core producing modern furniture pieces that were unrestricted as to shape or length.

Modern furniture designers with their endless imagination and fanciful disregard for the traditional and the expected, Cini Boeri created the “Strips” sofa that has been best described as a quilted puffed jacket.

Expanding into international markets, some of her designs were also produced by the Italian company Gavina and in 1968 Knoll Furniture began distributing her designs from Gavina into the United States. While these pieces are more rigid in shape, her signature inclusion of soft upholstery remained intact.
She also ventured into working with glass and designed the “Ghost” chair with collaborator Tomu Katayanagi in 1987 that received world acclaim. It is fabricated from a single piece of 12 millimeter glass.

Having been awarded many prizes like the Compasso D’Oro in 1979 for the “Strips” sofa and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles in 2008, her work is on display in museums and international exhibitions. She has also been engaged to teach around the world including the University of California in Berkeley, the Cranbrook Academy of Arts in Michigan and where she attended school, the Milan Polytechnic.

She continues to produce notable modern furniture pieces. One of her more recent pieces is the cini boeri sofa produced in 2008 of a powder coated formed steel tubing with an option of either textile or a leather finish; it is graceful and sleekly modern with a European aesthetic. The collection includes a lounge chair and ottoman as well in the same contemporary style.

As she continues to design, her interest in the exploration of materials and stretching the limits of their physical properties has allowed for creative and innovative modern furniture designs. With her compounded interest in industrial design, she has made a note of specializing in understanding the relationship between people and their physical surroundings and in expressing this in modern furniture designs unique to Cini Boeri.

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