Cassina celebrates the 50th anniversary of the LC Collection. Italian industrialization for the research and development of contemporary design.

1965-2015: a golden anniversary for Italian manufacture and the masters of 20th Century design
2015 will be an important year, firstly to commemorate Le Corbusier’s death and, above all, to celebrate one of the most significant collections of contemporary design.
In 1964, while Le Corbusier and the co-authors were still alive, Cassina signed the contract to start producing the first four models by Le Corbusier, Jeanneret e Perriand, employing a philological process which marked the very beginning of the Cassina I Maestri Collection. By choosing Cassina Le Corbusier demonstrated great international recognition of the Italian company’s industrial know-how.
Technological innovation for serial production
Cassina accepted the challenge to produce these revolutionary items, unfamiliar at the time, from 1965, introducing over the years a series of technical innovations to advance the products from a small artisanal production to an industrial manufacturing process. In particular Cassina,
1. established the distinctive curve of the chrome-plated tubular steel frame through a refined bending process rather than simply welding at a 90° angle;
2. introduced polyurethane foam padding and then feathers for extra comfort in the cushions. Thanks to the collection’s commercial success, which went hand in hand with the internationalisation of the company, these products produced in Meda were distributed worldwide, making them the familiar icons that they have become today.
Over the years Cassina has developed the LC Collection adding models by the three authors (Le Corbusier, Jeanneret, Perriand) and other projects that Le Corbusier elaborated alone once he had reached full artistic maturity, turning his work towards elementary and archetypical items, particularly in wood.
Authenticity, keeping Cassina one step ahead of the copycat market
Cassina is the only authorised company to produce designs by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Charlotte Perriand, working in close collaboration with the Le Corbusier Foundation and the heirs of the co-authors. Right from the very beginning, the models were branded with a progressive production number, an innovative instrument to recognise the artistic value of the pieces and to ensure control of the original production. It is vital to fight against imitations and protect the culture of design as an important historic and cultural heritage in order to sustain innovation and quality.
Cassina’s commitment is to pro-actively develop the LC Collection with product innovation and cultural initiatives to put the copycats in a difficult position where they are unable to contend with the high quality and content of the projects.
Looking to the future: chrome-free technology for a safer environment
Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand were all particularly conscious about the importance of the environment and nature was often a central theme in their works. They had a joint mission to restore the connection between nature and mankind in architecture and urbanism. Continuing its quest for innovation, Cassina’s future-minded approach has led the company to research the industrial process adopted by its suppliers in the production and disposal of chromium plated framesThe use of hexavalent chromium, a method still implemented by the furniture industry to protect from metal corrosion and increase aesthetics, is destined to become obsolete as the automobile industry has anticipated. Hexavalent chrome plating chemicals can be carcinogenic when inhaled during the production cycle due to the
hazardous waste created. Considering this, Cassina has made a conscientious decision to only employ a trivalent chromium plating process for the frames of the LC Collection, a safe and considerably less toxic alternative to hexavalent chromium thanks to lower chromium concentration levels, less air emissions and consequently less toxic waste.
Cassina will therefore be able to guarantee safer production processes not only for this collection by the end 2015, but also for the entire Cassina collection to follow in the immediate future.
Materials with a green focus
The brand’s decision to eliminate hexavalent chrome will be applied to all phases of the production cycle, including the tanning process of the leathers which will become wholly organic. By eliminating these toxic chemicals, the negative impact on the environment will be greatly reduced.
A new soft fabric will also be introduced, which resembles leather but is made from a combination of polyester and polyurethane. This microfiber textile has a reduced environmental impact as it is made without solvent or metal based dyes, uses 70% less water and generates 35% less CO2 in the production process.
Historical analysis for product upgrade: colours and details
The intense historical research carried out by Cassina, the Le Corbusier Foundation and the heirs of the coauthors, has led to a series of product upgrades for the LC Collection with the aim of discovering the authentic spirit of the project.
Cassina presents a reviewed palette of colours for the collection’s frames which will update the nuances originally identified in 1978 by Charlotte Perriand. The new tones were discovered during the analysis of models from the archives and museums. The burgundy and ochre frames will be replaced by brown, ivory and mud, the light blue and green shades will be slightly modified, while the grey will stay the same. The basalt colour will be eliminated and used only for the Villa Church models, as will the matt black for the LC4 chaiselongue
frame which will remain only in the chrome version.
Another novelty includes an elegant headrest strap with saddlery craftsmanship, following the example of the LC4 CP, an homage by Cassina to Charlotte Perriand for the occasion of the 2014 Louis Vuitton Icônes Collection, for the LC4 chaise-longue.
A new look for the LC9 take away stool
The LC9 stool, designed in 1927 by Charlotte Perriand with an Indian cane seat for her apartment in Paris and later exhibited in 1929 at the Salon d’Automne where it was adapted with a removable sponge seat for the bathroom, became part of the LC Collection in 1973.
Confectioned in its own personalised box, the LC9 has been proposed for this anniversary in its original version with a cane seat and also redesigned with a leather seat, making it adapt for all areas of the home.
Available from October 2014 at premium Cassina stores throughout the world, it is the perfect take away gift for all design lovers.
Further Cassina initiatives to celebrate this important anniversary will be revealed over 2015.