\ Our history
Tecno s.p.a., set up in 1953 by Osvaldo and Fulgenzio Borsani, is an industrial company which includes the support of an international network of branch offices and retailers. The Tecno brand identifies a company that still has the initial enthusiasm for engineering and technological innovation and that continues to consider the quality of design, the materials and the craftsmanship essential thus permitting their products to conquer the challenges demanded by the future.
The origins of Tecno: ABV1923It all began with the idea of "home", or to put it more clearly, with an appreciation of how important the home is in determining quality of life. Tecno's long and intense history can be traced back to the early 1920s when Gaetano Borsani, father of the twins Fulgenzio and Osvaldo (the founders of Tecno) set up Atelier di Varedo, later to change its name to Arredamenti Borsani Varedo (ABV).
The very first products of Gaetano Borsani's company were typical items of period furniture made according to the artisan traditions of the Brianza area. Following Atelier di Varedo's participation in the Monza Biennial Exhibitions of 1925, 1927 and 1930, however, a clear change in style emerged, largely as a result of the growing influence of Osvaldo Borsani. By 1933 and the 5th Milan Triennial Exhibition, Osvaldo Borsani had developed a distinctive style of his own. Osvaldo's experience soon led to his conceiving and designing the Minimalist Home, based on an uncoordinated approach to furniture. Each item became important for its own intrinsic qualities, fully autonomous yet still capable of “relating” to other items.
In 1932, the company moved to a new factory and simultaneously inaugurated a shop and design studio in Via Montenapoleone, Milan. Throughout the thirties and forties, Borsani dedicated his efforts to the creation of furniture for large domestic environments and for the wealthy professional studios of the Lombardy region.
The little house1923For the 5th Triennial Exhibition in 1933, as part of the "Habitation Exhibition", along with Cairoli and Varisco, Borsani designed and built their "Little House", intended to showcase a clear rationalist system in the space distribution and the articulation of its volumes. However, it was the furnishing (with its vibrant varnishing and the use of curved metal tubing), which attracted the most interest, winning Osvaldo Borsani himself the Silver Medal and his company the Grand Prize. This was a complete project in which individual furnishings represented a sort of functional repertoire.
Formation1953In the decade immediately after the Second World War, Osvaldo Borsani began to conceive of a transition from traditional craft production to industrial manufacturing, a change in direction that would lead to the formation of a new company: Tecno. The decision to form Tecno resulted from a fundamental disagreement between Osvaldo Borsani and his father, Gaetano, who remained committed to tradition craft production. Osvaldo, however, had attended art school in Brera and had graduated in architecture at the Polytechnic of Milan, and was determined to interpret the changing lifestyle and tastes of the period. Osvaldo's brother, Fulgenzio, had studied economics and was therefore ideally suited to the role of careful administrator and analyst of all possible business developments.
Osvaldo Borsani's first step, in 1953, was to create a furniture collection of his own design. It is notable that the very first Tecno catalogue already stated that “Our standard production system permits industrially produced objects to reproduce accurately and faithfully the original model conceived by the artist and developed by the technician. Industrialisation also means large scale diffusion and permits everybody to enjoy highly functional products of guaranteed quality, technical perfection and extended duration. [...]”.
The first Tecno catalog1953The first Tecno catalogue in 1953 was a strategic collection, conceived by Borsani, of all those items he had designed in the years immediately after the war, which he felt were most representative of the industrial journey he wanted to take. The collection was displayed in the catalogue through a series of eye-catching graphics accompanied by text which provided an honest representation of the intentions of the developing Tecno. The items presented included the L60 bookcase, supported by vertical wall guides, the forerunner of the E22 system, the P30 armchair, the T45 desk, the P35 armchair and the L50 corner bed.
The 10th Triennial Exhibition1954Tecno's first “official” presentation was in 1954, when it exhibited its new collection at the 10th Milan Triennial Exhibition. This event proved crucial for the recently formed company. Going beyond a simple product display, Tecno created “contexts” within which its furnishing elements could be arranged, shown and promoted in association with a specific lifestyle. The decision was taken to be present throughout the exhibition in order to build a reputation as the only Italian company committed to providing furnishing solutions that offered freedom to compose different layouts with mass produced furniture.
The patented D70 sofa bed, designed by Osvaldo Borsani, was presented in the Exhibition of individual furniture items, while a whole pavilion entitled Exhibition of series furniture was set up in the Triennial park to display a selection of furniture units and industrially produced objects. A large number of Tecno products were also included in the furnishings of the USA section, located inside the famous geodesic dome designed by Buckminster Fuller.
The 10th Triennial Exhibition
Honourable Mention1954For the 10th Milan Triennial Exhibition in 1954, as part of the “Individual Furniture Exhibition", the many products on display, such as items designed by Charles Eames for Herman Miller, Zanuso's Martingala armchair for Arflex, or De Carli's 683 chair for Cassina, included Osvaldo Borsani's D70 divan-bed for Tecno. And it was the D70 divan that would receive an Honourable Mention at the 10th Triennial Exhibition, because it was considered to comply perfectly with the request from the curators for: "standard furniture production, items which both as single items and in the widest possible range of combinations, would bring intimacy to a house, meeting functional requirements and aesthetic aspirations, allowing the expression of diverse personal characteristics."
design philosophy1954The switch from ABV's craft traditions to Tecno's industrial production was made possible by a conscious evolution in design and vision, an evolution on which Osvaldo Borsani continued to build his career as designer and entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, Borsani was well aware how important it was to have “original ideas” and to “satisfy requirements”; as a sensitive designer, he also felt the need to search for innovation in the form and use of objects for the home.
By experimenting with new dimensions in home furnishings in the first half of the 1950s, Borsani became one of the most influential figures in the contemporary school of Italian design that would soon change the world. This historical context makes it easier to understand Borsani's quest to combine sharp angles with smooth curves and rounded edges and to integrate precious craft materials with complex mechanical parts.
Borsani eventually formulated a global approach to design in which “the figures of designer, maker, art director and distributor merge harmoniously into one”, and was convinced that “the contribution of the designer must not be a fleeting one, but must be close, intense and lasting […]”.
The Tecno logo1954By the time Osvaldo Borsani saw the need to form a new company to mass produce furniture elements in the early 1950s, he already understood the essential role of graphics in communicating corporate image.
Borsani was fascinated by the communicative language of the Herman Miller company in America. The simple, immediate and dynamic communication achieved by Charles and Ray Eames and others inspired Osvaldo Borsani to create a succinct graphic logo for Tecno. The famous capital “T” logo made its first appearance in 1954, at Tecno's presentation for the 10th Milan Triennial. Roberto Mango was the man responsible for this powerfully iconic creation. The “T” has been the keystone of Tecno's graphic image ever since.
After a series of collaborations with designers like Enrico Ciuti and Bob Noorda's Unimark Studio (1968-69), Salvatore Gregorietti and Giulio Confalonieri, in 1972 the newly formed Tecno Design Centre took on the task of managing communications in conjunction with the company's marketing department. Direct responsibility for image fell to the centre's Communication Design section, headed by Roberto Davoli.
Osvaldo Borsani1956Following on the success of the D70 divan at the 10th Triennale Exhibition of 1954, Borsani began work on the idea of a mechanical joint that could allow an armchair the freedom of movement necessary to assume different positions, especially for relaxation. The P40 was the ideological manifesto of Tecno design as seen by Borsani. Still today it is the most instantly recognisable and best appreciated item in the Tecno catalogue, thanks to its suitability for use in the home, offices and the hospitality sector.
Osvaldo Borsani1956The P32 armchair was designed by Osvaldo Borsani in 1956. Unlike other models that appeared in the same period, it boasted an innovative combination of seat movements. The P32 armchair is not only able to swivel and return automatically to its original position, but also incorporates a backrest pivot mechanism. The armchair’s characteristic swiveling action made it ideal for rest and conversation in the office or the home, and for reception areas in general. The design is equally valid today.
"major projects"1956One characteristic of Tecno's early market approach could be traced back to the workshops of ABV. This was Tecno's commitment to creating “special” or “custom” designs to run alongside its series products. Today, these designs come under the auspices of “Tecno Engineering”. Tecno's custom designs, however, differed from those of ABV.
While ABV creations had generally been one-off series for small or medium rooms in wealthy homes or managerial offices, Tecno was more interested in developing solutions for large buildings and public spaces, where complex technical problems had to be overcome. Airports, stations, hospitals and office blocks were typical examples. Following a meeting with Enrico Mattei in 1957, Tecno was asked to fit out the interiors of ENI's office blocks. Borsani seized the opportunity to introduce important innovations in the rapidly developing field of office furniture design.
This experience in design and production for Enrico Mattei and ENI served as a launch pad from which Tecno went on to tackle other major projects and to offer key account customers that unique combination of top quality, striking design, advanced technology and industrial production that would become one of the company's most distinctive features.
Only Tecno sells Tecno1956One key aspect of Tecno's approach to business has been its adoption of a sales system based on prestigious single brand outlets and its application of the concept that “only Tecno sells Tecno”, originally proposed by Osvaldo Borsani in response to one of his father's objections to the new company. Over the '50s and '60s, this courageous policy gradually turned into a unified and coherent vision of a direct relationship between Tecno and its customers. As a result, Tecno opened own showrooms in major cities around Europe over a number of decades.
The company's first official showroom was opened in 1956 in Via Montenapoleone, Milan. The entire building was re-structured and a new façade designed by Osvaldo Borsani in conjunction with Eugenio Gerli. The result won great acclaim and became a new reference point for high design content showrooms. After Milan came Rome and Paris, followed by Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Bologna, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Catania, Düsseldorf, Florence, Geneva, Genova, London, Madrid, Melbourne, Monaco, Naples, San Sebastian, Turin, Valencia and Vienna.
New shapes1960Between the end of the 1950s and the 1960s, one of the strongest indicators of the transformation of Italian society with the so-called financial boom was definitely the massive development of the tertiary sector and the office world, which would immediately became the focus of the Borsani family's attention. During this period, Tecno's assumption was that modern living would increasingly bring domestic life into contact with the dynamicity of the tertiary sector, leading to the need for items of furniture which were typologically, aesthetically and technologically capable of transferring seamlessly between different spaces. This was a period of great development for Tecno, both industrially and commercially.
the new language1968The social and cultural changes that emerged in the mid 1960s re-ignited Tecno's interest in innovation in the field of design. A new phase of creative expansion began as a result and injected new life into the already successful Tecno collection. The excellent and innovative contributions of Mario Bellini, Eduardo Vittoria, Robin Day, Albert Leclerc, Gio Ponti, Vittorio Borachia and Carlo Santi all date from this period.
Their design solutions, along with many others from the same period, heralded radical changes and convinced Tecno of the need to avoid becoming tied to the limited prestige office market but to develop instead solutions for the larger, advanced service sector market of the 1970s.
the big hit1968Osvaldo Borsani, Eugenio Gerli
The Graphis office system was introduced in 1968. The design seemed to have come straight out of a book on computer art: two sheet metal corner pieces supported the work tops, and the choice of colour - white - was unheard of in the world of office furniture. The Graphis system was presented at the 15th Milan Triennial Exhibition in 1968, entitled “The big hit”. The new system's absolute, elementary form provided a courageous, radical interpretation of the spirit of the times. With the introduction of this “mature” series-made system, Tecno confirmed its switch to industrial production.
The Graphis system was made up of just three basic elements: a white painted “L” shaped sheet metal frame, a drawer unit and a laminate worktop. Over the years, the Graphis system has been expanded by the addition of other elements including containers, corners, meeting tables, screens and audio-video tables. To respond to the cabling needs of increasingly complex office automation, Valeria Borsani and the Tecno Design Centre developed Graphis 5 in 1993. The system, which has remained one of Tecno's best sellers over the years, was again updated in 2005. Various details were redesigned and a wide range of new colours and materials introduced.
The “Centro Progetti Tecno”1970In 1970, industrial and communication design work was reorganised and the Tecno Design Centre set up. While Osvaldo Borsani remained nominally in charge, day to day running was left in the hands of the architect Marco Fantoni, aided by some of Tecno's key figures in various roles. The formation of the Tecno Design Centre confirmed a decision that had already been taken within the company: that future designs should be presented as group creations, with a clear and easily identifiable communicative style.
The '70s and '80s were to prove two highly successful decades: the Modus chair won the SMAU Prize in 1973; the coordinated image for Alitalia's worldwide offices won the Compasso d’Oro in 1984; the WS public seating system was introduced and collaborations begun with many internationally famous architects and designers.
The new industrial designs introduced in this period coincided with the opening of a new, larger production plant in Varedo. Soon, the administrative and registered offices, which had always remained in Milan, were transferred to the new plant too.
"Centro Progetti Tecno"1972The Modus chair was first created in 1972 by Tecno’s own Design Centre, in order to provide the Graphis office system with a chair with multiple functions. The aim of the Modus project was to obtain not only the creation of one chair, but a whole series of chairs, created by the intelligent combination of various components to form different solutions for different types of environment.
WS - Waiting System
"Centro Progetti Tecno"1983The Waiting System was a system of seats on a single bar, designed to resolve the problem of seating in spaces visited and used by large numbers of people (airports, parks, halls, metros, train stations), which had to fulfil specific robustness, hygiene, cleanliness and comfort criteria. The WS seating comprised modules of 60 cm harmonic steel mesh, stripped, with a phosphate coating, and painted in black and white epoxy powders, standing on a serizzo base, with the option to insert serizzo slab tables 3 cm thick.
Golden Compass1984Coordinating the image of Alitalia worldwide
Angelo Cortesi /G.I.P., Marco Fantoni, Gianfranco Facchetti, Umberto Orsoni /G14
In 1982 Alitalia invited several suitably qualified Italian firms to compete in an ideas project to rejuvenate its company image and spaces worldwide. Tecno, along with Studio Cortesi and Studio G14 , was preselected to work on the new London branch, in Piccadilly. During the project Tecno, specially studied formal, functional and technological characteristics contributed to design the "objects" which would furnish the homogeneous environments of various branches worldwide, helping to promote and advertise Alitalia's services, in line with a basic concept of flexibility and homogeneity of language applied to the project as a whole. The entire project was awarded the Golden Compass at the 13th edition in 1984.
Norman Foster1986Norman Foster
In the 1980s, Tecno decided to renew certain strategic relationships of collaboration with external designers. In particular, this period saw the beginning of an important partnership with Norman Foster, leading to the design of Nomos, an office system that would go on to become a design icon, boosting Tecno's worldwide image and symbolising international high-tech style for over a decade.
The story goes that Nomos was conceived in 1983 during a visit by Tecno to Foster's studio. There, the Tecno team came across a table with a tubular structure as never seen before. Marco Fantoni immediately asked Foster to produce an industrial design for a similar system of elements on behalf of Tecno. The project continued for some two years, but eventually Foster's schematic drawings of the tables were transformed into an extensive and versatile system of industrially made office furniture.
The design philosophy underlying the system was based on three principles: firstly, in terms of product type, recognition of the fact that changing the spatial relationship between a work surface and the floor beneath it could adapt that surface to a wide range of uses; secondly, from a morphological point of view, the fact that a structure could be seen as a skeleton supporting an organism of mobile, modular elements; thirdly, from a technical standpoint, the fact that a whole system of elements was needed to build a wide range of changeable and re-configurable layouts from scratch.
Nomos1987The result of collaboration between Norman Foster and Tecno, the Nomos System is designed to offer virtually unlimited flexibility in terms of layout solutions and to create truly striking office environments. The versatile and extremely robust Nomos is considered the pioneer of shared structure systems and is a recognised icon of industrial design. It has awarded with the “Compasso d’Oro” in 1987.
Luca Scacchetti1988Designed for Tecno by Luca Scacchetti, Ianus is a collection of managerial office furniture that includes desks, drawer units, tables and cabinets. The collection is rich in stylish details, boasts a striking classical design, and is made from hand crafted solid wood. The various elements in the collection can be combined to create individual workstations with open or panel bases and various meeting configurations for small rooms and large, prestige environments too. All solutions feature a characteristic shaped edge in solid wood, but can be customised in size and finish to meet designer specifications.
Golden Compass1988In 1988, Tecno Spa won its first Golden Compass for its contribution to architectural quality.
The return to art1991Close and lasting artistic relationships have always played a key role in the history of Tecno. A group of futuristic artists helped design some of the first products of ABV, but it was not really until the mid 1930s and Osvaldo Borsani's meeting with the artist Lucio Fontana that a lasting partnership was formed, capable of engendering a large number of creative opportunities and exploring the relationship between art and interior furniture design.
To celebrate the long and enthralling history of cultural exchange at Tecno in a worthy manner, in 1991 Valeria Borsani put forward the idea of creating a collection representing the period and paying homage to Osvaldo Borsani, who had passed away a few years earlier, in 1985. This proposal led to the creation of the “ABV Collection”, and to new contributions from artists of the calibre of Agenore Fabbri and Arnaldo Pomodoro, Getulio Alviani, Carlo Mo, Man Ray, Luigi Veronesi, Jeffrey Steele, François and Frédéric Morellet.
Golden Compass1991In designing this collection of office chairs and arm chairs, Emilio Ambasz for Tecno looked to combine two apparently incompatible concepts, which he himself identified as “familiarity” and “exceptionality”. The design of the Qualis chairs is characterised by upholstered bodies of sartorial quality, and by the patented backrest pivot mechanism, purpose-designed to integrate with the rest of the armchair. The success of this product won it the Golden Compass in 1991.
European Parliament1992In 1992 Tecno won the bid to produce the new semicircular room at the European Parliament headquarters in Brussels. The project saw the production of 750 stations for parliamentary delegates and the presidential stage, all made to measure. On the basis of an architectonic design by Michel Bourquillon, Jean van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie and Guy Maes, Tecno developed the technical design and produced all of the items of furnishing, both for the seating and the journalist stations.
Design Prize1998In 1998, Tecno Spa won the European Community Design Prize for its contribution to architectural quality.
Schipol Airport2001Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam is Holland's largest airport and one of the biggest in Europe: in 2009 it was the fourteenth busiest in the world in terms of passenger traffic. As part of the ongoing evolution of the various terminals, in 2001 Tecno's RS seating system was adopted for the waiting areas (approximately 20,000 seats), before also being rolled out to the bus stops for the shuttle buses running between the terminals.
British Museum2003With the transfer of the British Library in March 1998, architectural studio Foster + Partners had the opportunity to recreate the museum's courtyard, the heart of the building which provides access to every section. The most significant design choice was the decision to cover the Great Court, which would become the largest undercover courtyard in Europe with the addition of an undulating glass roof covering an area of 6100 square metres. Tecno was then tasked with creating all of the new furnishing specially designed by Foster + Partners, who selected the company for its ability to adapt its products to meet their project requirements, always ensuring the highest quality standards.
Torre Agbar2005In 2004 Tecno was commissioned, over two other prestigious international competitors, to produce all of the interior storage inside Jean Nouvel's Agbar Tower, an entirely made to measure project. In order to provide a complete project rather than offering individual products, Tecno designed and created all of the interior storage to measure. 35 floors, 142 metres tall, a concrete heart, a steel and glass cover and 4000 windows spread irregularly over the entire outer surface.
Piero Lissoni2006Piero Lissoni is the designer behind Tecno’s Asymmetrical system, based on a contemporary concept of technology concealed by pure, minimalist forms, and held in a precise, almost rarefied equilibrium. The Asymmetrical system is constituted by large meeting tables with asymmetrical tops that contrast with rigorously geometrical and essential solid supports that hint at modern art and recent Lissoni-s work in the field of architecture. The tables can be combined to form large work stations, meeting tables and desks where everything is instantly to hand.
Pierandrei Associati2009Pierandrei Associati
(AlessandroMaria Pierandrei, FrancescoMaria Pierandrei, Stefano Anfossi)
Office work system
The Beta system is the outcome of future-oriented research into office environments by Pierandrei Associati, supported by the technical competence of Tecno. The Beta work system is specifically designed to respond to the many different needs of modern work spaces.
Office environments have to be able to adapt and evolve in order to encourage effective experience sharing and the co-existence of different working practices. More than a simple office system Beta is a whole new working environment, with a non-linear growth logic designed not to fill space, but to create it.Beta configurations combine three basic components: backbones (cabinets), desks and accessories. As the number of elements increases, so too does the number of possible system configurations, from the most concentrated to the most evolved.
In its most evolved form, Beta offers a completely new interpretation of the office environment, merging formal and informal work areas, optimising the use of space, and using free standing desks to increase workstation density. Beta is also simple to recycle because every individual part is made from a single material and is easy to replace.Beta Unopuntozero won the Red Dot Design Award in Essen in 2010.
Milan offices2008The Porta Garibaldi Excise Buildings
Piazza XXV Aprile – Milan
After extensive adaptation and refurbishment work, in 2008 Tecno inaugurated its new Milan offices in the Porta Garibaldi Excise Buildings in Piazza XXV Aprile, (built in 1826). The Excise Buildings stand on Corso Garibaldi, which connects the Brera district with the Garibaldi train station. In recent years the area has undergone a radical transformation as a result of the Porta Nuova urban development project, the construction of various new high-rise buildings, and a new urban plan.
Today, the area is the preferred location for Milan's fashion and design sectors. Refurbishment to the original plans has restored the buildings to the city of Milan in their original 19th century appearance but effectively restructured in terms of internal space and technical systems. The two buildings house an extensive series of furnished environments, arranged over three floors but forming a continuous space laid out according to the criteria of flexibility, rigour and elegance that permeates all Tecno projects.
All Tecno's key products are combined to form work spaces ranging from simple stations to refined directors' offices. Tecno's long term objective for the Excise Buildings is to turn them into an active centre for the world of design by organising a series of initiatives aimed at establishing a multifunctional portal.
New Headquarters2010Inaugurated in 2010, Tecno's new headquarters in Mariano Comense are part of a process of renewal that has involved the entire company in recent years. Re-evaluation of the principles of design, craftsmanship, quality and customer service that determined the company's past success is an essential part of Tecno's new strategy.
It is on these same values and on the “discrete elegance of technology” that Tecno plans to build its future by renewing its international presence, paying closer attention to historical and contemporary products, and emphasising the roles of the Tecno Design Centre and Tecno Engineering. Tecno's Mariano Comense headquarters provides 14,000 m2 of space and is home to the company's R&D department, craft carpentry operations, logistics, sales and administration offices. Steel part and mechanical component production and other special processes have been outsourced to participated companies in order to streamline internal work flows.
The new headquarters enables Tecno's customers to experience the product development process and Tecno's business philosophy in a dynamically growing environment.
Tecno Engineering2010The process of renewal that has been ongoing in Tecno for a number of years has been guided in part by an awareness of the need to return to the company's design roots. The vast experience that Tecno acquired in major projects in the past is one of the company's key strengths and sources of prestige.
Tecno Engineering was formed to complement Tecno's standard catalogue offering with custom products tailored to meet the special needs of individual customers and design studios. Tecno Engineering employs a team of technicians, designers and specialists with the ability to fulfil even the most challenging requirements for large environments like corporate offices, airports, auditoriums, etc. By examining specific technical requirements and designing custom solutions, Tecno Engineering has helped Tecno acquire complex orders of international significance in recent years.
Good Design Award2010The beta unopuntozero system was born from research into the working environment of the future, led by design firm Pierandrei Associati and supported by Tecno's technical skills, to create an adaptive and evolving office system. More than just a system, beta was in fact a whole new working environment, with a non-linear growth logic designed not to fill space, but to create it. For this reason, in 2010 the project won the Good Design Award.
Red Dot Design Award2010In 2010 the beta unopuntozero system won the RED DOT Design Award. The project was born from research into the working environment of the future, led by design firm Pierandrei Associati and supported by Tecno's technical skills, to create an adaptive and evolving office system. More than just a system, beta was in fact a whole new working environment, with a non-linear growth logic designed not to fill space, but to create it.
Rodolfo Dordoni2010The PONS sofa and table system, designed for Tecno by Rodolfo Dordoni was specially conceived to furnish waiting areas, lounges and managerial environments, but is perfectly at home in domestic settings too. The PONS D011 system is characterised by modularity, easy assembly and extremely flexible components, plus a high level of comfort obtained through the use of different densities of padding.
The Milan Triennial Exhibition2011“The discrete elegance of technology
”An exhibition by Pierluigi Cerri
Concept and installation by Studio Cerri & Associati
Image storyline by Giampiero Bosoni
Book published by Skira Editore
An exhibition entitled “Tecno. The discrete elegance of technology” was held during the 2011 Salone del Mobile furniture show in Milan's Triennial Expo palace. The event celebrated almost sixty years of Tecno design and coincided with the presentation of a book of the same title, dedicated to the history of the company.The exhibition, conceived by Pierluigi Cerri, focused attention on three of Tecno's most iconic designs, presented in theatrical settings, hanging on walls, exploded into their individual components and arranged in realistic layouts.
The technical richness and complexity of the exhibits was emphasised by stark contrast with the untreated wood of the structure's oblique walls.The three selected designs, all important milestones in the history of Tecno and Italian design in general, were the famous P40 armchair designed by Osvaldo Borsani in 1955, the ingenious Nomos table, designed by Norman Foster in 1986 and the eclectic Modus office chair designed by Tecno's own Design Centre in 1972. Each of these products represents a concentration of technology and creative imagination.
The iconic “T” of the TECNO logo provided a distinctive graphic theme for the exhibition. A large screen displayed images of the designs that have punctuated Tecno's industrial and artistic development in a sequence resembling a conveyor belt.
The discrete elegance
of technology2011Giampiero Bosoni
“Tecno. The discrete elegance of technology
”Published by Skira Editore
Giampiero Bosoni's book Tecno. The discrete elegance of technology was published to coincide with the exhibition of the same name held at the 2011 Triennial Expo palace in Milan. The book describes almost sixty years of design, production and corporate culture and explains how Tecno became one of the leaders in Italian style thanks to the evolution of a new design language based on elegance and technical innovation. The book contains over 300 images, including many previously unreleased photos from the Borsani-Tecno archives. Text by Giampiero Bosoni relates the dynamic, inventive and forward-looking lives of brothers Osvaldo and Fulgenzio Borsani, respectively designer and administrator of Tecno after its formation in 1953.
The book starts with Tecno's origins in Atelier Borsani, founded by Gaetano Borsani in the 1920s, and describes the family firm's traditions of quality, art, craftsmanship and technique and its subsequent transformation into ABV (Arredamenti Borsani Varedo). The work then goes on to present the first heroic achievements of the 1950s, with iconic designs like the D70 and P40 before moving on to the early 1970s and highly successful, mass produced designs like the Graphis office system and Modus chair. These were the years in which Osvaldo Borsani was assisted in design activities by other top architects and designers like Carlo De Carli, Vico Magistretti, Roberto Mango, Gio Ponti, Mario Bellini, Albert Leclerc and Eugenio Gerli. The products of this first, glorious generation of creatives were followed in the 1980s and 1990s by collaborations with prestigious architects like Norman Foster, creator of the famous Nomos system, Ricardo Bofill, Jean-Michel Wilmotte, Emilio Ambasz and Gae Aulenti, and designers of the calibre of Giorgetto Giugiaro, Justus Kolberg, Piero Lissoni and Giancarlo Piretti. The later chapters in the book describe Tecno's significant contribution to interior architecture through numerous custom designs signed by internationally famous architects.
The book ends with a glimpse at the new millennium and at office systems like Beta by Pierandrei Associati, emphasising how, from 1953 to the present day, Tecno has always been a fertile environment. Its ideas, projects and people have contributed - and are still contributing - to the evolution of design, culture and technology.
Gabriele and Oscar
Buratti2012Designed by Gabriele and Oscar Buratti, Plau is an essential vision of the “chair object”. The idea is based on a single padded sheet, cut and bent into the shape of an armchair. The chair’s comfortable, enveloping geometry stems from a painstaking quest for balance between sharp angles and softer edges. The result is an elegant and technical creation of great visual impact, completely in line with Tecno’s design and production philosophy.
Re-editions2011Tecno boasts a product portfolio of unquestionable value, and this is why, in addition to new designs, the revisiting of popular classics has played an important part in the company's complex process of renewal. Many of these quality products are perfectly at home in the domestic environment as well as in the office. This “return to the roots” has led to what can only be defined as re-editions of Borsani classics, with new finishes.
The P32 armchair (1956) and T69 and T 102 managerial tables (1963) were brought back in 2011, followed by the T90 table-desk (1954) in 2012. 2013 saw the return of another two creations: Osvaldo Borsani's classic AT16 coat hanger (1963) and a special edition of the Nomos table by Foster + Partners, issued to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the original.
Monica Förster2012Archipelago D502 is a system of upholstered seats designed by Monica Förster Design Studio for Tecno. This landscape of small islands can be clustered or attached in groups or located separately. Multiple configurations can therefore be created to respond to the needs of various types of environment: domestic, office or lounge.
Orgatec Fair2012After an absence of ten years, Tecno returned to Cologne in 2012 for Orgatec, the international exhibition of design, furniture and ideas for the work environment.
Tecno chose this global showcase to present a large display by Piero Lissoni, and three new products: Beta Free Standing, Archipelago D502 and Partition WL. These three new workspace offerings convey a clear message of renewal based on three design principles: identity, innovation and sustainability.
Throughout the display, new products alternated with classics that have become icons of office furniture. The elegant ambience thus created was arranged in a neutral, almost colourless space in which visitors were confronted by furniture islands dedicated not to specific tasks but to the world of work in its broadest sense, and to the rhythms imposed by it. Meeting rooms, executive rooms and work spaces were organised a purposefully horizontal, non-hierarchical manner.
"Centro Progetti Tecno"2012WL is a dividing and equipped partition system from Tecno, that permits a vast range of floor plan layouts to be created. WL partitions benefit from Tecno’s vast experience in the field. More than simple divisions of space, they are genuine design tools, interpreting indoor areas where all kinds of work is done and improving the quality and the image of those nvironments.
SNCF - RS22012
Qatar2012-2013In the field of large projects, in 2012 Tecno won a particularly prestigious international tender to install hundreds of workstations in the brand new Doha International Airport in Qatar, designed by the HOK Studio. In particular the project involved the production, supply and installation of long lines of customised Beta system workstations plus a smaller number of individual workstations in airport offices and passenger information areas.
A number of Nomos executive tables, as well as a selection of tables designed specifically for the project were also installed in various airport meeting rooms. Many of the airport's lounge areas were also fitted out with Pons seats, designed by Rodolfo Dordoni for Tecno in 2011.
livable office2013Office furniture exhibition. Hall 24
Milan Exhibition Centre, Rho.
9 to 14 April 2013
“From open plan to human rationalism”, a new way to arrange office space.
“We need to change behaviour, to find a new way of interpreting and planning work. Wherever it is, an office has to be independent, clearly identifiable yet transformable, full of humanity, of stories and objects, a place where people are happy to be”. This is the message expressed by Jean Nouvel in his installation for the 2013 Design Week in Milan.
As part of the architect's overall project, Tecno co-developed a new system for dividing up office space. The idea was to create a system of partitions that could be adapted to open plan office layouts in high-tech architectural contexts. More specifically, the objective was to apply a rational approach to the transformation and adaptation of space. The floor plan is only apparently static and repetitive: in reality it permits great freedom. The partitions are mobile and removable: office workers can re-arrange them to personalise their work spaces, moving boundaries, opening access to neighbours or corridors, or even increasing isolation.
The atmosphere is one of warmth and luxury, based on a precious wood and chrome finish, valuable technical components like telescopic tables, glass shelves that can be hung on walls and suspended tablets for organising the personal and professional universe.
The Furniture Exhibition and
the Milan Exhibition Centre2013Porta Garibaldi Excise Buildings: The CEO's office.
To coincide with the 52nd International Furniture Exhibition in Milan, Tecno presented the public with a manifesto-installation investigating the relationship between man and his work space.
The installation, designed especially for the suggestive showroom areas of the old Excise Buildings in Piazza XXV April, Milan, illustrated ideas for the work spaces of top decision makers like bank presidents, football team managers, heads of state, chairmen of cinema companies, heads of famous fashion houses and so on, in which furniture and personalities are both protagonists in the working day.
The spaces arranged by Rodolfo Dordoni created hypothetical portraits outlining the functions and needs of the figures who lived and worked in them. The discrete elegance of technology that identifies Tecno was on hand to satisfy the needs that all top managers have to deal with. Whatever the need, a solution was on hand thanks to the careful design for which Tecno is renowned: reversibility and flexibility rendered harmonious, elegant and discrete.
Luca Scacchetti2013Luca Scacchetti’s latest contribution to Tecno comes in the form of the Vara collection of desks, meeting tables and cabinets. The name is inspired by the ancient world and use of the carpenter’s trestle as an archetypal, aesthetically essential yet functional support. In this play on balance and volume, the tops seem to be suspended in the air. This rigorously light design creates a suggestive synthesis between form and function.
W80, the evolution of a Tecno classic: the partition wall. The commitment to technical evolution as a response to the growing demand for products that combine efficient performance with attractive appearance, design and form has always been one of Tecno's most distinctive characteristics.
The W80 partition system for work environments represents an important new step in this direction.
A project developed by the Centro Progetti Tecno in collaboration with architect Daniele Del Missier and Elliot Engineering & Consulting, with vast experience in the design of office environments, the W80 partition system is the latest result of Tecno's research into the evolution of partition walls, which began in the 1960s with the E22 partition system, and continued into the '80s with the introduction of glass as a partition material in the groundbreaking WB and WG systems, which soon became market leaders.
Tecno is participating at Orgatec 2014, Modern Office & Facility in Cologne, with three new proposals that revolve around a number of key concepts like versatility, flexibility, division and aggregation, aiming to propose effective solutions to current problems linked to ever-evolving work environments.
The W80 partition wall, first unveiled during Fuorisalone 2014 in Milan, is designed for use in large international construction sites and is characterised by superb flexibility: it can be fully equipped and customised and is designed to integrate all kinds of technology.
The new MULTY office partitions system is based on a single sound-absorbent partition panel that can be combined with others in modular solutions, responding to the need for reconfiguration of work environments.
VELA seating, available in a wide range of models and finishes, is conceived aesthetically and technically to harmoniuously integrate in working environments, hospitality and residential spaces.
The company's strong identity is successfully conveyed once again on this occasion, not just through the new Tecno products themselves, but also through the way they are portrayed. The layout, entrusted to Migliore + Servetto Architects, envisages a two-fold appreciation of the exterior and interior of the booth, providing greater insight into three separate narratives that revolve around the chair, the partition element and the wall system.
Lievore Altherr Molina2014
Vela, the result of a collaboration between Centro Progetti Tecno and the Spanish studio responsible for the design, Lievore Altherr Molina, is a family of seats that proposes a vast range of models created, both in terms of aesthetic design and functionality, to blend harmoniously into office environments, soft-contract and residential settings.
The technology present is concealed in a sophisticated “responsive” mechanism in the body of the seat, which allows to automatically adopt a natural posture based on the weight of the user.
The simple and elegant design of Vela, which is attractively enveloping in appearance, with no visible mechanical elements, makes the chair the ideal solution in traditional workplaces as well as in home-office contexts.
Gabriele e Oscar Buratti2014
Multy is an innovative partition wall system for dividing and structuring spaces, for creating visual privacy and reducing acoustic impact in offices and work spaces in general.
Created by design duo Gabriele and Oscar Buratti, the project, combines specific technical characteristics, superb performance and technological innovation, in a product that also offers elegant, cutting-edge design.
The system comprises a single element, a panel, which can be configured, combined with others and equipped using a simple, intuitive system.
Salone del Mobile
Fiera di Milano2015
Tecno’s commitment to an innovative path dedicated to office environments takes on concrete form in the proposal of a live experience within the stand that the company is using to present itself at the 2015 edition of the SaloneUfficio.
The installation, developed by the architectural firm Gtp in Turin creates an aerial space in which the corporate colours predominate.
Connectivity, intelligence and digital well-being are accompanied by the concepts of versatility, flexibility, acoustic performance and comfort in defining the new frontier towards which Tecno is driving its research, providing an advanced response to the new requirements of the smart workers involved in a moment of great changes in workspaces.
Vela chairs represent the solution to the need for advanced seat comfort in workspaces.
Multy panel system aims to create meeting and working areas which meet the highest standards in acoustic absorption and soundproofing. W40, the new single glazed partition, confirms the company’s great attention to the world of design and to structural separation systems for business environments.
Lastly, the new project io.T, introduces connectivity to “office” objects making them intelligent and confirms Tecno an undisputed leader in the sector thanks to the continuous technologically advanced path that the company is pursuing, guaranteeing an unparalleled competitive advantage to its partners.
Tecno ceaselessly intent on the subject of space division introduces W40, the new
W40, created by the Centro Progetti Tecno in collaboration with architect Daniele Del Missier, is conceived to offer great possibility for integration. The alignment of the pane with the profile, centered or offset, allows the door system to slide along the profile. The many types of separation offer one-of-a-kind aesthetic and three-dimensional appeal.
With its four industrial patents, W40 guarantees an extremely high level of structural and acoustic performance that, together with its minimalistic styling, make it a versatile object permitting flexible use in various environments (small lounges, temporary meeting rooms, intermediate and service areas).
Red Dot Design Award2015
W80, created by Centro Progetti Tecno in collaboration with Daniele Del Missier and Elliot Engineering won over the 38-member jury of the Red Dot Award Product Design 2015.
With its new partition wall system, Tecno proved its excellence in the most important competition for product design, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. The international experts discussed and assessed each of the 4,928 entries from 56 countries.
W80 represents the final stage in a journey consolidated by the company’s research, which has focused specifically on technical evolution as a response to the current demand for products that combine efficient performance with great design. In keeping this tradition, Tecno has generated a completely new concept: W80 is an all-new partition system covered by five industrial patents. Characterized by exceptional flexibility, finish and integration with all kinds of technology. W80 is the perfect solution for medium and high complexity projects.
The intelligence of Tecno2015io.T is Tecno’s innovative furnishing project combining the tangible, analogue world with the intangible world of digital through a series of intelligent furniture. The profound cultural and strategic change of the work environments, dominated today by constant connection, new functional and flexible physical layouts, has led Tecno to develop a series of connected furniture that can be integrated with the main IT system , able to recognize the person and his/her preferences adapting them to the surrounding work environment. io.T allows, in real time, to share information allowing to improve the management of the area, reduce and optimize resources.
Tecno takes over Ottagono2015
Affinity, common paths, desire of taking “design” back to the middle of discussion and development of the Italian furnishing sector, led TECNO to take over the brand and the historical archive of OTTAGONO magazine..
Clavis is Tecno’s workstation system which concept arises from the patented joint, the core of the system and the only connecting element of the components of the structural frame facilitating a quick configuration. The system can be mounted without any hardware, by means of a simple 45° torsion movement to interconnect the components. A series of modular components makes Clavis highly modular and suitable for the numerous types of present-day works. The system allows for different heights of the top or manual/automatic progressive height adjustment, suitable for the new working requisites.
Vela is awarded with the Compasso d'Oro2016
VELA, the family of seats designed by the Lievore Altherr Molina studio, is the winner of the 24th ADI (Industrial Design Association) Compasso d’Oro with the following statement: “Compasso d’Oro for a research resulting in an elegant product, light, technological and solid integrating brilliantly ergonomics and aesthetic”.
VELA is the powerful expression of Tecno’s thinking, always inspired by rationalistic design represented in its most elegant and discreet form.
The clean, essential line, with no visible mechanical elements, conceals sophisticated “responsive” technology that allows it to adapt its position automatically according to the weight of the user. Vela, both in terms of aesthetics and functionality, is suitable to blend into office environments, soft-contract and residential settings. The family proposes a vast range of models available with different bases, finishes and combinations of materials/fabrics for seat and backrest.
VELA will contribute to extending the heritage of the Fondazione ADI Collezione Compasso d'Oro (ADI Golden Compass Collection Foundation), recognised as “of exceptional artistic and historic interest” by the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage, which since 1954 has collected the Italian design objects that have won the prestigious Award.
Orgatec Fair2016“Redesigning the future of the future work” is Tecno’s claim choosed to interpret its (proper) vision during Orgatec 2016, the main international event of office sector recently concluded with a great success of public and that sow Tecno present itself in an open space area of 900 m², where the company show a real theatre of imagination, where the future is made possible, or rather is realized thanks to io.T: an intelligent and interconnected furniture systems able to grant a new level of well-being for the users and an optimization of the resources for buildings managers.
In the booth, thought like a big white canvas, standed out Vela, winner of 2016 Compasso D’Oro, Clavis a new workstation system conceived for the immediate tool-free assembly and the partition wall W80 that, thanks to its unique technological characteristics is one of the most well know product on the biggest international building sites.
Once again, Tecno, pick up first the evolutions in act and translate it in products, made to improve the well-being in working environment
Tecno e Zanotta. Un disegno comuneIn the continuous growth path of the historic brand founded in the 1950s, Tecno acquires a majority stake in Zanotta, one of Italian design’s most well-loved and important companies.
Tecno and Zanotta have two parallel stories, and they have decided to share their uniqueness, reputation and credibility to boost growth in the main international markets, aiming for a comprehensive offer for the contract and office system, the reference area of Tecno, as well as for the home and hospitality area, a sector in which Zanotta has always excelled.
The two companies in their respective journeys have given meaning to the Italian design industry, with a highly anticipatory approach to the market in terms of innovation, both in terms of aesthetic and functional research and in attention to representing the values of Italian design and know-how.
21st February, 2017
During the latest edition of Passenger Terminal Expo fair in Amsterdam from 14th to 16th of March, Tecno presented the new Aeris seating system for airports designed by Grimshaw.
From “non-places” destined solely for transit, airports haven transformed into multicultural, multifunctional hubs where people work, eat, make purchases, await and relax.
And this is why Aeris system from Tecno, with its elegant extruded aluminium bar allowing alignment of up to 5 seats and the option of adding tables and cantilever structures, makes airports comfortable, flexible and adaptable to various types of user, permits linear, corner or back-to-back seating configurations, equipped with USB port to meet tech standards for widespread digital uptake.
14th to 16th March, 2017
Salone Del Mobile Fiera di Milano2017“Redesign the future of the future work” is the theme choosed by Tecno for the latest edition of the Milan Salone Del Mobile.
In a large space, Tecno is demonstrating the new products: Clavis, Vela and W80, the historic icons and above all the innovation of io.T Intelligence of Tecno, the system that makes furnishings intelligent, integrated and connected.
Tecno presents a system of tables, seats and partitions designed for contemporary working, furnishings that aim to enhance environmental comfort and the well-being of users.
Tecno extend its exhibition during the Milan Design Week at its showroom in Piazza XXV Aprile, in the heart of the technology with “Tecno: The Project Factory”, an experiential exhibition pathway among the realizations of projects, iconic furnishings and recent innovative systems, to explore the backstage of design by recounting a kind of total project, concerning not only the making of but also the evolution of the Tecno company.
Recounting design. Showing it, from the inside. Exploding it. Drawing out all its components. Demonstrating the technological content. Revealing the details of its creation.