© Settimio Benedusi
Back & Forth

Verner Panton and Fabio Novembre


A sinuous design icon, designed in Denmark in the 60s, has its contemporary successor in a product designed by an Italian designer. Verner Panton and Fabio Novembre: from Panton Chair to Him & Her

Panton Chair

In 1960 a Danish designer named Verner and surnamed Panton gives birth to one of the most immaginific and iconic seats of his, our, and future time of living. Panton’s offspring will be named, not by chance, nothing else but with his name: Panton Chair: colored plastic, poured and printed in a single piece, making history in design since its first whimper.
Everyone thinks they know everything about this “She” of seats, nobody really knows “Her”. From Verner’s brain to the production of Vitra, from the original material “Luran S” to the current polyurethane foam, from the anthropomorphic shape to the cantilever structure, the Panton Chair is the “classical-classic”: recognized by many, known by few.
The Panton Chair is tilting arabesque, sinuous icon, monochrome variation; Panton Chair colors minimalist living rooms, lives in gardens with pools, inhabits museums of modern art.
Panton Chair is one of the most successful strokes of a designer’s mind:
simple, functional, essential.
When any Verner realizes this sort of seat, it becomes the immortal Panton.
When a chair rises up to a Panton Chair, it becomes an absolute.

Him & Her

“Don’t mix the sacred with the profane”
Don’t tell that to someone like Fabio Novembre.
Iconoclast and Irreverent by nature, a Rebel by profession.
Fabio turned the antiquated design world upside down even before he took part in it.
With a “simple&strenuous” click of the mind.
Just as, with the same click, he managed to go from the hermaphroditism of the Panton Chair with a 60s label, to the nude harmony between the two sexes of his Him & Her seats, dated 2008.
Starting from the book of Genesis, Novembre takes the “Holy Panton” and re-elaborates it, making it nude, and making its sex clear, even if only the backside is shown.
Him & Her are Adam and Eve in the “Garden of Design”, who become statues to be exposed, who are solid and resistant seats, who represent useful material for bodies and minds.
Contemporary art, industrial design, homage to an icon, reference to a master, field shift, reflection on time, harmonic partition: it’s all of this, and everything personal codes can make emerge out of its vision and physical experience,
that is hidden in the backstage of planning a seat that is already double at birth: Him&Her.