While the world went through a period of political and social upheaval, every aspect of the status quo in Italy was about to undergo revision. Chairs were no exception to this change, either. Pierre Restany, an art critic, spoke about it at length in an essay that was published in 1986 in “Zanotta: Design For Passion.” He noted that people simply didn’t return from protest meetings or assemblies to sit in the rigid Louis XIV armchair, which was the fashion then.
Instead, the bourgeoisie stiff seating was switched out for ergonomics. The movement is now known as the Italian Radical Design, and three thinkers became prominent. They are Cesare Paolini, Piero Gatti, and Franco Teodoro. Together, these minds came up with the concept of a chair that could adapt to various situations by taking different shapes.
And thus, the bean bag was born. A list of the best bean bags available today has been published by Architecture Lab right here, but for now, here’s how the bean bag came to be designed.
Materials for the Bean Bag
Much like a pile of snow, or even water, these chairs could take different physical structures depending on the body of the person sitting on them.
Other Italians were thinking along similar lines but didn’t find much success. Gatti remembered in a 1988 interview that the first attempt was with water mattresses, but that turned out to be too hard. Then, there were inflatables called ‘pneus,’ which is French for tires. There too, the air led to rigidity and reduced comfort. The polyurethane foam followed, but it did not quite respond to the human body as one would expect.
Finally, the designers thought back to the old mattresses with chestnut leaves; something peasants used widely. Basically, a sack is filled with leaves and other such materials, so it takes the shape of the body. In this case, the reasoning was that balls or marbles, basically something spherical and small, could behave like a semi-fluid and mold itself to the shape of the body.
Although buckshots were considered, the lead turned out to be too heavy while the ping-pong balls happened to be too expensive. Finally, they hit on a usable material, foam polystyrene, which is used in heat and sound-proofing. Cutting open the envelope and pouring the balls into a vinyl bag was the first step in the right direction.
They were definitely getting close when it came to the design, but the bean bags hadn’t yet made their impact on the world.
Bean Bags Enter the Market
This only happened after Macy’s took an interest and the American store placed an order. Zanotta became the manufacturer they turned to for producing the bean bags. The real challenge was never coming up with the chair, but rather finding someone to manufacture it. Luckily, the stars were aligned when it came to Zanotta.
Marta Zanotta, the communication and marketing manager of the brand, recalls how it went down. Aurelio Zanotta heard the presentation, and within thirty minutes, he had ten prototypes made. His niece recognized how Aurelio was aware of the potential of the bean bag.
Combining his trademark audacity and far-sightedness, which always helped his business, Aurelio introduced the market to a product that was so out of the box that it became a design icon beyond disputes.
Bean Bags as Icons
As they say, the rest is history. After the order was shipped out to Macy’s, it also made its debut at the Paris Furniture Fair in January 1969. The grand event witnessed the Sacco, or the bean bag, as most of us know it, as an absolute icon of flawless design.
Since then, bean bags have popped up everywhere. You can see it in casual settings like a college dorm room and at places where fashion is carefully upheld. For example, Franca Sozzani, the late Italian Vogue editor, kept a bean bag in her Paris apartment, and it was covered in mink.
Now that it has been over fifty years, the bean bag feels more relevant than ever. In fact, fashion designer Raf Simons ensured that a suite of them was swathed in his fabrics when it came to Kvadrat. Zanotta even made waves in 2018 by opening its first US flagship store in Miami’s Design District. Obviously, it became a splendid affair, attracting people from the worlds of design and art to the Art Basel Miami Beach.
These bean bags cost around $530, which makes it a rather attainable icon, as compared to some other seating arrangements. After all, it becomes a price worth paying if one pays attention to what Restany had to say. The bean bag meets the general need to loosen up how people tend to live.
Not just the bean bag, but its manufacturer too, has had a storied history. From being merely a design to being conceptualized as an icon when it comes to seating arrangements, it has been a terrific journey.
Bean bags have been around for over fifty years now but continue to be just as popular. We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about its origins and the efforts that went into enhancing the ergonomics.
Do feel free to reach out to us and share your experiences of using a bean bag. Till next time, Adios!
There are thousands of different toys on the modern market, and everybody has diverse preferences. Both kids and adults like puzzles, building models, and simply beautiful toys and figurines. UGears is an amazing company that creates toys that combine different categories in one thing. Each kit is a puzzle that you put together like a wooden model. When the work is finished, you will have a gorgeous moving toy. These models are unique, and you will not find anything like them. Living in an era of mass-produced plastic toys, such building kits as those made by UGears become a breath of fresh air.
The company has a useful website with all possible toys in the catalog. They all differ in complexity, shapes and sizes, as well as the approximate time of building. Based on these features, it is easy to choose a toy for anybody from a five-year-old child to an adult experienced in building wooden models. All puzzles have unique designs unlike the majority of popular toys. Here, you will see such special and exciting things as trains, research vessels, a globe, different car models, a curvimeter, or even a butterfly with fluttering wings. The selection here is much more diverse and different from what we are generally used to.
UGears creates an amazing experience for children of all ages, from five to ninety-five. If you want to have some quality time with relatives and close ones or relax by yourself, assembling one of these kits is a perfect solution. Each model has an estimated time of building that varies from 30 minutes to 16 hours. If you are a beginner, the simpler models are recommended. But even experienced model assemblers will find here amazing kits for themselves.
There are also some special models designed for younger kids. They are very simplistic and fun. Besides, these toys can be painted after building. Picking the colors and decorating the models is another fun activity for smaller children.
Here is why the UGears toys are so good:
While being a Ukrainian company, UGears has been growing on the American market as well. To create a well-rounded experience for every client, it is essential to provide both great toys and convenient customer solutions. Here are some of the pros of buying from UGears:
The decision to go into the restaurant business is not one that you should be making lightly. Yes, successful and popular eateries do make major profits, however, what you need to understand is that it is a cutthroat industry and the competition drives businesses to close every other week. There are a lot of restaurants and this rise in demand for restaurants has led to a surplus of restaurants opening overtime. This availability of so many different kinds of restaurants has made the industry pretty saturated, so it takes a lot of creativity, effort, and good food to set up a new restaurant and have it generate enough profit to remain to stand and successful.
The food scene some 50 or more years ago was very different compared to now. Restaurants used to operate during certain hours because people were used to having their meals at fixed times during the day. However, with time, the concept of casual dining was introduced and people started having their meals at different times, which is why it is not weird to go to a restaurant at 5 pm and see people eating lunch and so on. So casual dining has created a space where people can come and eat during odd hours as well.
If you are still determined to open a restaurant of your own, then you need to remember that the period before your restaurant opens is just as important as the time when you officially open for business. The amount of preparation you do right now will play a major role in how your restaurant will turn out later. You need to make sure that you sort out all of your relevant details like the location of the restaurant, the size of the restaurant which also includes the seating capacity, the theme of your restaurant, restaurant furniture, the menu, the kind of service you want, and so on. Each of these is equally important to ensure that your restaurant turns out successful. Now, you can choose to consult experts in the industry, or you can design everything yourself ranging from your choice of restaurant chairs to your restaurant’s sign and logo, and so on.
The first thing you want to do is decide the kind of vibe you want your restaurant to give and the customers you mainly want to attract. Determining this beforehand will help map out everything else that you will need to get and set up for the restaurant. For example, if you want a diner-style restaurant that targets a younger audience, you will want a retro setup that encapsulates the feel of a 1950s diner. Similarly, if you want a pretty restaurant to attract friend groups or people that appreciate aesthetics, then you can opt for bright or pastel colors, natural lighting and have a quirkier setup, and so on. By determining your target visitors you can get a complimentary setup going, so this decision always needs to be made beforehand. If you are unsure about your target customers, you can look up information on different age demographics at restaurants, which ones visit more frequently, and which option is more profitable and so on. Doing this will help you have a clear plan that you can map out so that things look and remain consistent at the end of the day.
When we talk about restaurant furniture, we are mostly referring to tables and chairs. Now, there are no hard and fast rules about what kind of furniture your restaurant should have, but they should be sturdy, made of good-quality materials, and consistent with your restaurant’s theme. Of course, having an underlying theme and concept will help considerably narrow down your options. When it comes to chairs, you can choose between stools, sofas, booths, chairs, and so on. The theme of your restaurant can determine the type of chair you have, for example, booths work and sofas work better with family-style restaurants whilst chairs and stools work better with bistros and casual-dining places. You can choose to mix and match as well, having different kinds of seating options, and take it a step further and have mismatching furniture and colors going as well. You can also keep things simple and have the same design of chairs and tables for the entire restaurant. This ultimately comes down to your personal preference and what you feel will work better for your restaurant.
Yes, it seems very tedious to have to go over so many minor details and stress over them, but at the end of the day, if you want a good restaurant that has a consistent theme where everything compliments each other, then you will have to continue agonizing over them. At the end of the day, you want a restaurant that people serves good food, looks good and makes people leave with a smile on their face.
This post was contributed by a guest writer.