Soriana chair by Afra and Tobia Scarpa
The Scarpa's have here produced something close to the ultimate alternative to traditional
upholstery. Upholstered chairs used to be made by skilled craftsmen, working with layers of padding on a timber
frame. The chair has a minimal wooden base, supporting the polyurethane foam of which the chair is made.
This foam is topped with a layer of soft dacron fibrefill, and a loose-fitting fabric or leather
cover, shaped with a minimum of tailoring. The chair is given its final form by two chromium-plated steel wire
clips. This simple but revolutionary system has been used to create a whole series of pieces, including an
elongated chair, ottoman sofas and armchairs. Perhaps one has to have a certain taste for plumpness to like this
chair, but it is hard to deny that it has a sensuous softness and disarming honesty of construction.
Front and back views of the Soriana chair, showing the way in which the steel wire clips holds the
substance of the chair in shape.