In the great stylistic and formal renewal of the first half of the 70s, divided between Italianism and new architectural trends, Mario Botta was one of the main protagonists on the international scene. Already known for many architectural projects such as the Watari Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, in a short time he was able to stand out also in the field of product design, thanks to the pair of chairs, Prima and Seconda, commissioned by the Italian Alias.
Unique for their exclusive construction features, these two design icons are closely related to each other; in particular, Seconda was built following the standards of architectural design, combining geometric shapes and volumes in a peculiar way to create a harmonious and minimal whole. The painted steel structure combines with a seat in perforated sheet steel, while the backrest is made up of two simple cylindrical elements padded with black polyurethane. The black legs are raised at a right angle in the front giving shape to the armrests culminating in the backrest. Geometries and essentiality are the key elements of the entire structure dominated by 90 degree angles except for the two transverse lines on the sides created to give stability to the entire structure and at the same time create the illusion of an almost floating backrest in midair.
In these works it is clear that Botta considers geometry as a cultural mission: “Every shape we design must somehow belong to the past. Even if we create something contemporary, we still need archetypes, elementary forms and certain formal elements that speak of us in the past “.
Following these ideas, Botta gave formal factors total precedence over comfort. Its products are therefore particularly used in situations where furniture is characterized by its strong visual impact such as hotel lobbies, exhibition spaces and galleries.
Every shape we design must somehow belong to the past