Osvaldo Borsani (1911-85)

Italian architect and designer, born Varedo, Switzerland and active Milan. For Osvaldo Borsani, design was in the blood.


His father, Gaetano Borsani, was a noted furniture craftsman who won the silver medal at the Monza Triennale of 1927, and his twin brother Fulgencio would be his collaborator and business partner. In 1937, Osvaldo entered the Politecnico di Milano to study architecture. After completing his degree, he joined the family business, Atelier Varedo (later Arredamento Borsani) as a furniture designer. Throughout the 1940s and early 50s, Osvaldo produced a large body of work including case goods, storage pieces and seating. Especially noteworthy was a 1946 wall-mounted shelving system. Among his clients were Crippa, Fabbri, Fontana and Sussu.

In 1953, Osvaldo and Fulgencio founded a firm called Tecno which, as its name suggests, became known for its technology- and research-based approach to furniture design. In 1955, Tenco issued one of its best-known pieces, the P40 chaise longue. Described as a "machine for sitting", it featured rubber arms and could assume 486 distinct postures; the D70, a sofa version, was also manufactured.

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