50th Anniversary: Kartell’s Componibili Storage Unit

WORDS Amelia Brown

Kartell’s iconic Componibili storage unit by Anna Castelli Ferrieri celebrates its 50th anniversary in style.

“I cannot remember a year at Salone del Mobile in Milan when there wasn’t a birthday celebration of an iconic design,” says VISI Deputy Editor Annemarie Meintjes, who attended this year’s fair in April. “But I can remember when Kartell was only available from office furniture suppliers in South Africa, and that’s where I bought my Componibili unit with my first salary cheque.”

Kartell’s award-wining modular storage unit features in permanent exhibitions at MOMA in New York and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. In this one flexible, functional and practical piece, Anna Castelli Ferrieri revolutionised the design world with a unique approach to product engineering: modular furniture designed for assembly. Plastic was becoming the material of the future, and the Componibili captured the innovative spirit of Kartell.

“I’m not a researcher and I’m not a historian, but I know that Anna Castelli Ferrieri took ‘plastic’ from being a dismissive description into a new field of desirable components in our lives. Isn’t this the DNA of Kartell?” said industrial designer, artist and architect Ron Arad. He was one of the designers involved in signature pieces created to celebrate the Componibili’s 50th anniversary.

These 15 personal tributes were exhibited at Kartell’s flagship store in Via Turati, Milan, to coincide with Salone del Mobile 2017, before being displayed at the ICFF furniture fair in New York.

Here’s to the next 50!