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Tecno

Italian

From his early start at his father’s boutique furniture and cabinetry atelier — Arredamenti Borsani (ABV) — Italian designer Osvaldo Borsani began to steadily dream to life the movement-inducing pieces that would eventually lead to him founding his innovative furniture company, Tecno, with his twin brother, Fulgenzio. 

Born in the commune of Varedo in northern Italy’s Lombardy region, Borsani studied at the Brera Academy in Milan — the same school attended by such luminaries as designer Piero Fornasetti and artist Lucio Fontana — as well as the Polytechnic University of Milan. He first worked for the family furniture-making firm, ABV, an atelier influenced by the more expressive and curvaceous wing of Art Deco design. Borsani took over Arredamenti Borsani in 1937.

With his stylish and technically innovative furniture, Borsani helped change the face of Italian design in the 1950s and ’60s. His sofas and chairs, featuring deeply upholstered seating and adjustable position settings, have an aura of optimism and efficiency that still seems fresh and lively today.

While he is today recognized as a master of mid-century modernist Italian furniture, Borsani is most famous these days for cofounding Tecno. (He and Fulgenzio also created Villa Borsani, a visionary mid-century estate cherished for its modern lines and exquisite custom furnishings.) 

When Borsani opened Tecno, an office-focused maker of industrial design, his design sensibilities had evolved toward furnishings with strong, simple forms enhanced by mechanical innovations, as with the P40 adjustable armchair.

When they were originally released, Tecno pieces like the P40 and the award-winning D70 sofa bed were acclaimed as cutting-edge, and they are still considered groundbreaking in their adaptability and functionality. The firm quickly garnered widespread acclaim for its tech-forward designs and quality craftsmanship.

Borsani would be Tecno’s lead designer for 30 years, while partnering on projects with the likes of architect Eugenio Gerli and fostering work by Vico Magistretti, Carlo De Carli, Robin Day and others.

Borsani designed pieces for Tecno until shortly before his death in 1985, when his daughter Valeria and her husband, Marco Fantoni, took over the creative work. 

Today, the family’s legacy is preserved by Borsani’s architect grandson Tommaso Fantoni, who, along with Norman Foster, curated a blockbuster retrospective of Osvaldo Borsani’s work at Milan’s Triennale Design Museum in 2018.

Find vintage Tecno chairs, tables, desks and other furniture on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$4,088
Styles
Materials
Related Creators
Osvaldo Borsani for Tecno Wall Unit 'E22' in Rosewood
By Tecno, Osvaldo Borsani
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Osvaldo Borsani for Tecno, wall unit, model 'E22', metal, rosewood, Italy, 1957 Diverse wall-mounted shelving unit by Osvaldo Borsani for Tecno. Borsani designed the E22 as a coordi...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Tecno

Materials

Metal

Centro Progetti Tecno Conference Table
By Tecno
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Centro Progetti Tecno, conference table model 'T335', lacquered wood, aluminum, Italy, 1975-1978 Large conference table with a black lacquered wooden top that has an incredibly soft...
Category

1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Tecno

Materials

Aluminum

Centro Progetti Tecno Conference Table
Centro Progetti Tecno Conference Table
H 28.35 in W 216.54 in D 74.41 in
Eugenio Gerli for Tecno Pair of Lounge Chairs in Chenille
By Tecno, Eugenio Gerli
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Eugenio Gerli for Tecno, pair of 'Sir' easy chairs, model 'P73', wood, reupholstered in 'Marabou' chenille by Dedar Milano, Italy, design/production 1966 Eugenio Gerli's design, mod...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Tecno

Materials

Chenille, Wood

Eugenio Gerli for Tecno 'Domino' Bookcase
By Eugenio Gerli, Tecno
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Eugenio Gerli for Tecno ,'Domino' library, wood, black lacquered wood, Italy, 1966 Modern and attractive modular bookcase system designed by Eugenio Gerli for Tecno in 1966. This ...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Tecno

Materials

Wood, Lacquer

Eugenio Gerli for Tecno 'Domino' Bookcase
Eugenio Gerli for Tecno 'Domino' Bookcase
H 85.04 in W 127.56 in D 14.97 in
Osvaldo Borsani for Tecno White Wall Unit
By Osvaldo Borsani, Tecno
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Osvaldo Borsani for Tecno, wall-mounted wall unit, metal, white laminated wood, Italy, 1950s  This wall mounted shelving system was designed by Osvaldo Borsani. Its purpose was a co...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Tecno

Materials

Metal

Osvaldo Borsani for Tecno White Wall Unit
Osvaldo Borsani for Tecno White Wall Unit
H 103.15 in W 84.26 in D 15.16 in
Centro Progetti Tecno Dining Table
By Tecno
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Centro Progetti Tecno, dining table model 'T334C', lacquered wood, lacquered aluminum, Italy, 1975-1978 Round dining table with a black lacquered wooden top that has an incredibly s...
Category

1970s Italian Post-Modern Vintage Tecno

Materials

Aluminum

Osvaldo Borsani & Eugenio Gerli for Tecno Oval Dining Table in Marble
By Eugenio Gerli, Tecno, Osvaldo Borsani
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Osvaldo Borsani and Eugenio Gerli for Tecno, dining table 'T102', lady onyx marble, brass-plated steel, Italy, 1964 The designers Borsani and Gerli created an outstanding piece of furniture together that deserves a prominent place in one's living room. Designed for Italian manufacturer Tecno, this dining room table originates from 1964. The tabletop owns its intricate appearance due to the lady onyx marble with its expressive grey veins alternated by pink hues. In addition, the brass base carries a concave construction that gently remind of organic occurring dynamics. Osvaldo Borsani (1911-1985) was an Italian designer and architect, raised by a family of fine furniture makers in Varedo. At the age of 16, he joined his father’s furniture shop, the Atelier di Varedo, which was fully engaged in designing and furnishing homes inspired by the Italian Art Deco movement. The designer of the atelier was the Italian architect Gino Maggioni (1898-1955) who was known for his Viennese Jugendstil orientation of the early 20th century. In the 1930s, he graduated from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera and Politecnico di Milano, where he studied Fine Arts and Architecture respectively. In 1932, the family company was renamed ‘Arredamenti Borsani’ and opened its first studio in Milan. During this period, he encountered Avant-Garde artists of various artistic disciplines like Lucio Fontana (1899-1968), Agenore Fabbri (1911-1998), Aligi Sassu (1912-2000), Roberto Crippa (1921-1972), Fausto Melotti (1901-1986), Arnaldo Pomodoro (1926-) and Giò Pomodoro (1930-2002). These collaborations resulted in the creation of furniture and interior design projects with a high-level of craftsmanship and artistry. In 1953, Borsani founded together with his twin brother Fulgenzio Borsani ‘Tecno’, a design and manufacturing company that produced items based on mechanical innovations and refined technicality. The ‘P40’ adjustable lounge chair (1953) has become the ideological manifesto of Borsani's Tecno program, and still remains the best known, exemplary piece in the Tecno catalogue. Other iconic works that were produced by Tecno were created by Gio Ponti (1891-1979), Vico cham...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Tecno

Materials

Marble, Steel, Brass

Osvaldo Borsani for Tecno 'D70' Sofa in Red Upholstery
By Osvaldo Borsani, Tecno
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Osvaldo Borsani for Tecno, sofa or daybed, model D70, steel, brass, fabric, Italy, 1954. Osvaldo Borsanis sofa 'D70' was presented at the Triennale of Milan in 1954 where it won the Gold Medal for design. Not only the design is extraordinary, because so is the technology. With a single twist the back and seating are positioned upwards or down, all to create the highest comfort for the sofa or daybed. This eccentric sofa...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Tecno

Materials

Brass, Steel

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Tecno furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Tecno furniture are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of metal and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Tecno furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. Many of the original furniture by Tecno were created in the mid-century modern style in europe during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Carlo De Carli, Le Corbusier, and Poltronova. Prices for Tecno furniture can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $384 and can go as high as $58,800, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $6,657.

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