Turin paid tribute to Studio 65’s fifty years of activity in 2016\17 with the exhibition at the GAM; “Il Mercante di Nuvole”, curated by Maria Cristina Didero.
Among the most iconic pieces of the radical season, of which Studio 65 is an exponent, it could have not misses the Mickey armchair with rounded shapes, covered with a fabric with large polka dots, in black and white, created for the occasion in a giant version, an almost ideal manifesto of their design approach. Studio 65 was founded in Turin in 1965 by a group of architects, who gathered around the figure of Franco Audrito to fight bourgeois conformism, bringing a breath of freedom and irony to the world of furniture. Studio 65, rather than being inspired by the Bauhaus, draws its cultural and figurative references from American pop art and the world of fiction and comics. It is not a coincidence that the Mickey armchair appears in the list of their projects, which, in its name, denounces its cultural references. The archetype to which it refers is the classic armchair, large and welcoming, along the lines of the Fumoir by Poltrona Frau. However, Mickey’s shape is deliberately rounded and its roundness is emphasized by the large polka dot upholstery.
Transformed in this way, it loses its haughtiness to become a toy-town seat, the ideal manifesto of the new approach to design by Studio 65: not only functional forms, but playful and narrative because, as Franco Audrito claims, “the architect is a magician, capable of awakening childish enthusiasm”. Mickey has rounded and deliberately excessive shapes to sign a new history of design, thus becoming a contemporary icon: “The ability to imagine and transform furnishing elements into icons of our time is moved by the deeply irreverent, revolutionary and iconoclastic nature that has characterized the activity of Studio 65 for over half a century” writes Maria Cristina Didero.