Cassina, the illustrious Italian legend of furniture design, embarked on its journey in 1927, initiated by the visionary brothers Cesare and Umberto Cassina. Nestled in Meda, a town steeped in artisanal traditions and exceptional craftsmanship, their small family venture has traversed a long and arduous path to become a symbol of elevated furniture artistry.
The ambitious character and artistic discernment of the brothers played a pivotal role in the company's success. They were not merely entrepreneurs but active participants in the creative process, providing young designers with a unique canvas for self-expression. Take, for instance, the case of Gaetano Pesce, whom Cesare Cassina financially supported, allowing the designer to pursue his explorations without any expectations. This ethos bore fruit when Pesce introduced a groundbreaking method for vacuum-packaging foam seats, revolutionizing the way customers experienced their furniture at home.
The 1950s marked a post-war renaissance, an industrial boom that brought prosperity to the northern regions of Italy. Cassina played a leading role during this era of rapid production and design evolution in Italian furniture. Transitioning from traditional craftsmanship to industrial innovation, the company explored new production techniques and embraced avant-garde materials.
A significant сhapter of the brand history is the Cassina iMaestri collection, initiated in 1964 with the aim of resurrecting the works of renowned masters and breathing life back into their creations. Over time, this collection incorporated some of the most significant furniture pieces of the 20th century, crafted by luminaries such as Gerrit Thomas Rietveld, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Erik Gunnar Asplund, Charlotte Perriand, Franco Albini, Marco Zanuso, Ico Parisi, and Giacomo Balla. In 2023, on the occasion of its 50th anniversary, the Cassina iMaestri collection expanded to include new works by iconic designers such as Vico Magistretti, Gio Ponti, and Carlo Scarpa.
In recent decades, Cassina has collaborated with distinguished designers like Philippe Starck, Piero Lissoni, Jean Marie Massaud, Konstantin Grcic, and Zaha Hadid. Each partnership has brought a unique touch, making Cassina's style even more distinctive and multifaceted. Notable bestsellers from these partnerships include Stark's Lasy Working sofa, Lissoni's Nest and Reef sofas, and Massaud's Aspen sofa.
Since 2015, the role of artistic director at Cassina has been held by the Spanish architect and designer Patricia Urquiola. Her creations, such as the 570 Gender chair, seamlessly blend the traditions of the house with a contemporary spirit, solidifying her contribution to the company's portfolio.
In 2017, the company celebrated its 90th anniversary with a vibrant installation, Cassina 9.0, presented at Milan Design Week. This exhibition wasn't just a display of archival furniture items but a demonstration of how seamlessly they could integrate into a modern context. The central idea was to identify future trends in interior design through a thoughtful reflection on the evolution of past decades. This encapsulates the philosophy of Cassina: the past is the foundation for the future, and the brand's heritage is its life force.