Surprisingly enough (but not too much so), siesta time has once again become a must: a new contemporary lifestyle, and a source of physical and mental wellbeing, inner peace and productivity - or so, at least, says the Harvard School of Public Health and many other research institutes.
When design meets the idea of relaxation, it forgets its purely decorative dimension and interprets this concept through versatile furniture poised between comfort, aesthetics and functionality. The spaces and objects of rest become true multitasking - ergonomic, comfortable, cosy - environments to be enjoyed to the full.
But what are the ideal companions of a good siesta? Undoubtedly, sofas, chairs and armchairs that, today, inhabit flowing, open environments: the classic division between daytime and sleeping areas has given way to a continuity of style and functions. Place your relaxation-inducing item of furniture wherever you like: harmonious lines and a cosy atmosphere will make this your new comfort zone; your private, personal place that expresses your identity and your personality.
There are things that are not a product of their time, but that cross time diagonally, light as clouds, ever changing and yet always the same, day after day, season after season. The Le Bambole upholstered seats, designed by Mario Bellini for B&B Italia in 1972, are just that: they never grow old and are always ready - even today - to live with us, in our time, and give us moments of absolute relaxation and comfort. The original series comprised the Bambola armchair and the Bibambola sofa, to which the Tribambola sofa and ottoman were later added. The initial idea was that of a bag containing an amorphous material that, placed on the ground, would get squashed and mould the inner content; then, the concept moved towards the shape that symbolises rest par excellence: the pillow. It is this design that makes these seats so special: the apparent absence of a supporting structure; the extreme naturalness of their lines; the synthesis of comfort; the softness and elasticity that their appearance communicates so effectively. Even today, the Le Bambole collection continues to express its unconventionality and the desire for freedom and informality: place them in any space, and they will always be ready to welcome you in a relaxing embrace.
What could be more surreal, playful and fun than a nest on a human scale in which to take refuge and unwind? This limited edition masterpiece designed by Gianni Ruffi for Gufram in 1973 and relaunched in 2015, is not merely a piece of furniture but a fully-fledged environment offering a sense of protection; it is the physical and imaginary dimension of absolute relaxation. Its two meters in diameter are just a number because, once inside, the space becomes without bounds. The nest gives the surreal, romantic sense of being about to take flight with our own wings; the desire to grow and be strong enough to face the time when we can fly away, towards freedom. La Cova is a timeless alcove that proves that there are no barriers to dreams; it is a poem of daily living.
Fun, colourful, flexible and multifunctional, the Silla Revés chair stems from the slow design of the Muka Design Lab. Perfect for fluid spaces that encompass the private and the professional sphere, the chair adapts to our needs and our moods. The seat may be transformed to create two different configurations thanks to the reversible backrest, which can be folded back or left upright without the need for supports. In this case, a sort of cape surrounds the seat, giving rise to a private, intimate and protective, nest-like environment. When the fabric backrest is folded back, Revés becomes a more "extroverted" chair, more suitable for a chat as it allows the user to remain connected with the world. The fabric is quilted and comes in contrasting colours on the two sides: mint green and grey, or dark blue and emerald blue. Functionality, balance and aesthetics are the three underlying principles of the project, which was rewarded in 2015 with a Red Dot Design Concept Award.
Back in 1933, Alvar Aalto designed a chair that brought together the concepts of functionality and relaxation. His classic 401 chair, characterized by a high backrest and a typical L-shape, brought the Finnish designer and architect to fame worldwide. The 401 chair was designed for the Paimio Sanatorium (Finland), a hospital specialised in treating patients with TB. Aalto's ingenious frame resulted in a chair that was so surprisingly comfortable, elastic and stylistically distinctive - being ergonomically based on the shape and proportions of the human body - as to make it a real interior décor must. With this seat, Alvar Aalto achieved one of his main goals: to make design more human and extend the concept of functionality beyond the limits of technology. His mission was to create harmony between life and the material world, designing and building a heaven on earth.