In 1947 a group of technicians and among them Aldo Bai, Pio Reggiani, Aldo Barassi, coming from Pirelli and a young architect named Marco Zanuso began to experiment the use of foam rubber and elastic tapes for the furniture brand.
Inspirer of this operation is Marco Zanuso, for sure one of the very first architects involved with the systems of products industrialization, from application of new materials to new technologies.
In history and life of a company there are events and moment of special meaning, which are awards for merit acknowledged by anybody. Those first memorable moments in the history of arflex coincide with the company’s creation, in modest premises in Milan’s Corso di Porta Vittoria. It was there that the first manufacturing and sales team was formed, but the arflex company was only presented to the public for the first time in 1951, at the IX Triennale in Milan after two years of experimentations. This early contact with a wider audience in the context of an avant-garde artistic event is intensely significant in the company’s history, because right this experimental interest, if not separated from commercial purposes, shows the will of creating high technological and esthetical level products, based on deep research and experimentation. The gold medal atthe IX Triennale assigned to Lady armchair was above all recognition of arflex manufacturing philosophy.
Attention of arflex is constantly directed to cultural experimentation, succeeding in imposing new technological products, very uncommon for that time: such as Lady armchair (Zanuso 1951Gold medal at IX Triennale), Sleep-o-matic sofa (Zanuso 1951 Gold medal at X Triennale), Martingala armchair (Zanuso 1952 first example of dressing design), Fiorenza armchair (Franco Albini, 1952), Fourline armchair (Zanuso 1964, Gold medal at XIII Triennale), Lucania chair (De Carlo 1954), Delfino armchair (Carboni, among first experiments of animal-design), Elettra and Neptunia chairs (1953 and ’54) designed by studio BBPR or seat Hall (Manghi, 1958) and the first managerial office furniture designed by Roberto Manghi in 1961, allow to enlarge production to office- and public-spaces furniture besides home furniture.