Sergio Mian

ITALY (1944)

At first glance, furniture by Sergio Mian seems like a perfect example of the clean-lined modern design Italy is so famous for, and on closer inspection, his pieces prove to be all that and much more. An emphasis on details, a love of materials and an intimate understanding of the human body combine in Mian’s designs to transform them beyond the ordinary.

A long and diverse course of training brought Mian to furniture design. Schooled as an architect at the University of Venice, Mian worked on the restoration of old buildings before moving on to exhibition design, historical research and then industrial and furniture design. This varied background is brought to bear in every project Mian undertakes. In his furniture, one can see a respect for history, an understanding of spatial dynamics and a finesse of presentation. In Mian’s best-known works, such as the Baba seating collection, a mix of style and practicality is ensured through expert construction, use of durable and attractive materials and, most important, a deep understanding of how the human body interacts with its surroundings. Although it may look streamlined and minimal, Mian’s Baba seating expertly and comfortably cradles the body where it needs it the most; the reduction of parts does not infer a reductive aesthetic at work but simply expert knowledge of the body in repose. In Mian’s work, less is indeed more.

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