"Tube" Chair

Designer: Joe Colombo (Italian, Milan 1930–1971 Milan)

Manufacturer: Flexform

Date: 1969–70

Medium: PVC plastic (polyvinyl chloride), tubular steel, rubber, polyurethane foam, synthetic knit upholstery

Dimensions: Outer dimensions 1987.98.1a: 24 in. × 19 1/2 in. (61 × 49.5 cm)
Outer dimensions 1987.98.1b: 24 in. × 15 3/4 in. (61 × 40 cm)
Outer dimensions 1987.98.1c: 24 in. × 11 1/2 in. (61 × 29.2 cm)
Outer dimensions 1987.98.1d: 24 in. × 7 in. (61 × 17.8 cm)
Inner diameter 1987.98.1a: 15 3/4 in. (40 cm)
Inner diameter 1987.98.1b: 12 3/16 in. (31 cm)
Inner diameter 1987.98.1c: 7 11/16 in. (19.5 cm)
Inner diameter 1987.98.1d: 3 3/4 in. (9.5 cm)
Mount (6 Original metal clamps): 3 1/2 × 2 3/4 in. (8.9 × 7 cm)
Mount (8 Replacement metal clamps): 4 5/8 × 2 3/4 in. (11.7 × 7 cm)
Mount (Rubber balls 12 original and 12 replacement): 1 1/4 in. (3.2 cm)

Classification: Furniture

Credit Line: Purchase, Theodore R. Gamble Jr. Gift, in honor of his mother, Mrs. Theodore Robert Gamble, 1987

Accession Number: 1987.98.1a-d

Description

Italian architect and designer Joe Colombo responded to the changing social conditions of the 1960s by radically reinventing furniture forms and creating innovative interior environments, reflecting swiftly evolving modes of living. The modular components of his "Tube" chair can be arranged in any combination to suit the user, and can even be nested together, one inside the other. The foam-covered PVC tubes can be used in any number and combination, accommodating one or more people. Colombo reductively employs the tube both as the chair's primary formal structure and as its decorative motif, creating a simple yet visually dramatic object. The chair is made up entirely of synthetic materials, including foam, PVC, and synthetic upholstery, reflecting an increased interest in man-made materials in domestic environments at this time.

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