The Sicilian-born architect and designer Domenico “Ico” Parisi fancied himself a Renaissance man, embracing all scales of work as well as creative endeavors such as painting, photography, and installation art. But it was his modern eye for furniture—sensuous silhouettes as exemplified by his famous Uovo, or “egg,” chair—that garnered the envy of his peers. His longtime partnership with the Italian furniture house Cassina was instrumental to his career; the brand is now preparing for a Parisi comeback with the reissue of three pieces by the designer as part of its exclusive Masters collection.
Parisi apprenticed with architect Giuseppe Terragni, a leader of the 1920s Rationalist movement whose Casa del Fascio in Como, despite its maligned political associations, is still admired as one of the region’s best examples of the International Style. By the mid-1940s, Parisi came into his own as a designer and, with his wife, Luisa Aiani, a protégé of Gio Ponti, founded the studio La Ruota. Together, the duo produced more than 150 interiors projects that shaped the look and verve of the postwar era, including a number of private villas and residences that wholly fused art, furniture, and architecture and ushered in a renewed way of life.
Working with the Ico Parisi Archives, the reissued designs include the architectural Olimpino table (a private commission from 1955), the stately 875 armchair (from 1960), and the versatile Pa’ 1947 console, which features brushed metal accents and sinuous, slender legs carved from wood. The charming, slightly zoomorphic design was a fixture in many of Parisi’s projects— including his own home, in a telling testament to its enduring style. “Parisi was fundamentally an artist,” Roberta Lietti, curator of the Ico Parisi Archives, says. “And as an artist, he was always looking for the most satisfying results.”