Amedo Cassina was founded by Cesare and Umberto Cassina in 1927 in Meda (just north of Milan).
It wasn’t untill the post war period that Cassina transformed into the innovative company that we know today.
Towards the end of the 1940’s they opened up to collaboration with designers from outside the firm. The first was Franco Albini who’s model 430 in 1948 went against the current trend and very much set the stance that they would follow for years to come.
They continued to expand in size and reputation in this period, helped extensively by the commissions from cruise liners, hotels and restaurants, which accounted for a large part of their business up until the mid 1960’s.
One of these commissions was for the ocean liner the Andrea Doria in 1952. The furniture was designed by Gio Ponti and Nino Zoncada, as in the 593 chair (1950) by Ponti.
Ponti also collaborated with Pietro Fornasetti to create the Zodiac suite where mythical characters adorned almost every surface, again all the furniture was made by Cassina.
Cassina was dominated in the 1950’s by the designs of Gio Ponti. His Distex armchair of 1953 shows off his modern approach in conjunction with new materials, rubber foam, elasticated webbing and vinyl simulated leather all perfected by Cassina.
Ponti’s most famous creation for them, the Superleggera chair’s (1957) elegant and simple design would not have been possible without their skill and experimentation.
Other prominent designers of the period include Carlo di Carli. The Compasso d’Oro award had been set up in 1954 to showcase modern Italian design and was won by his model 683 (1953). Also winning a Diploma of Honour at the 10th Triennale in Milan, and the Good Design Prize from MOMA in New York.
Ico Parisi worked with Cassina in the 1950’s, his model 691 (1955) exemplifies the style of the period with tapering pointing features, and Gianfranco Frattini model 849 (1956) looked forward to the designs of the subsequent decade.
A deliberate post war policy of employing prominent architects and designers helped set Cassina apart from other manufacturers of the period.
Gaining a reputation for high quality products pursued through a marriage of artisan production methods and industrial technology, they were able to become a leading furniture manufacturer in the mid 20th century and still are today.
Please see the Vico Magistretti Cassina sofa I have for sale.