Omar De Biaggio

ITALY (1972)
Omar De Biaggio
Omar De Biaggio has a vision: the chair version of an Apple computer. For De Biaggio, Apple products symbolize design elegance – bringing a feeling of calm along with the sense of inspiration that comes from interacting with a utilitarian object housed in beautiful packaging – and he seeks to replicate that emotional connection with his furniture.

De Biaggio’s “Apple philosophy” led him to form his own company, which he named Job’s Chairs as a nod to Apple founder Steve Jobs. Job’s is based in Manzano, Udine, a commune in a region of northeastern Italy known for furniture production, particularly chairs, where much of the work is still done by hand. “In our area there is a strong tradition and respect for manual work.” This proximity to his manufacturers allows De Biaggio to evolve his ideas by trying different industrial techniques and to keep a close eye on every phase of production. He began marketing his work by making a list of the furniture stores and wholesalers that appeared in Elle Decor magazine. De Biaggio called around, then drove door to door with prototypes in the back of his car. That first effort resulted in orders for 300 chairs.

Growing up in Manzano, he came by his do-it-yourself spirit honestly. “My father is an engineer and used to realize at home the objects he needed. So I spent a lot of time in my childhood in his laboratory, learning the art of craftsmanship.” More formal education took place at Manzano’s Technical Institute for Furnishing. “Immediately I worked in the most important firms of the district, where I could deepen my knowledge of raw materials – steel, aluminum, all the woods and derivatives, as well as fabrics and leathers.”

De Biaggio handcrafted his early designs using handheld machinery, and he continues to build the prototypes for each new chair himself, taking satisfaction from watching his ideas turn into reality. “All my chairs are born without a drawing, and I shape them directly on the workbench.” Those chairs include the B-Pop (2006), a 1960s-feeling chair with tubular steel legs and a flowing molded seat and backrest that comes in poppy colors. More recently, the Bacco (2013), named for the Roman god of wine and the associated sense of relaxation, has become one of our most popular dining chairs. “My philosophy is to create objects where you can touch the authenticity and the warmth of materials, and comfort remains for me the key. The Bacco is an example.”
My philosophy is to create objects where you can touch the authenticity and the warmth of materials, and comfort remains for me the key.
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