Gianni Pareschi and Armadillo: 1970s design spanning eras and styles
The 1970s marked a cultural shift from mid-century modernism to post-modernism, a cultural evolution that also brought about a change in design.
The armchairs designed by Gianni Pareschi were the undisputed protagonists of the era, capable of shifting the focus of design from simple functionality towards something much more personal, untidy and totally unexpected, in a style that was both innovative and avant-garde in its unusual and unconventional use of industrial materials.
Armadillo, designed by Pareschi for Busnelli in 1969, thus became an idea turned graphic sign and symbol of irreverence, succeeding in staying above the lines and crossing every era unscathed. Armadillo’s clean lines, gentle curves and neutral-toned upholstery all work together, mitigating the audacity of the bold forms to create a piece as striking today as it was then.
Insofar as the symbol of an era in which innovation and artistic boldness left their indelible mark on Italian culture, paying tribute to it once again was a must for Busnelli. Armadillo’s capacity for adaptation is reflected in the new finishes: the tubular steel profiles with 40-mm diameter are now coated with eco-paints in Titanium, Copper, and the exclusive Busnelli Ombra colour, while the newly designed fabrics cover the handcrafted cushions with plant-derived polyurethane foam padding.
The workmanship of Armadillo is also visible in the cross-stitching with tone-on-tone or contrasting threads, creating an exquisite geometric pattern. The nuances created by the folds in the fabric evoke the natural characteristics of the armadillo, the animal from which the armchair takes its name. In the “Caleidoscopic” version, Armadillo presents a full-colour vision of a style icon, combining the Ombra colour of the metals with multicoloured upholstery for the cushions.