Salone del Mobile 2014: Tulu e Djuna

Constant research and development of the cornerstones of furniture design

Cassina has launched a research and development programme for a selection of products that, following the recent acquisition of the historic brand Simon, have become part of the Cassina SimonCollezione. Using its know-how, the company has reached its goal of improving the quality of these objects and expanding the range of the collection by further investigating their history
and manufacturing techniques.

The project began with the Tulu chair and Djuna side table, both designed by Kazuhide Takahama, the Japanese designer who combined ancient Oriental techniques and traditions with the mass
industrial production implicit in the rationalist approach of Simon's founder Dino Gavina.

A restyling of the Tulu chair, one of the first chairs to be manufactured with a steel bar frame
The stackable Tulu chair, designed in 1968, was one of the first models to open the way for chairs produced with drawn chrome plated steel bars. This was an evolution compared to the bending of
metal tubes as it made it possible to tighten the curves of the structure and the use of multiple automated welding machines allowed the frame to be produced in one single action.

Now, in addition to the chrome version, the bar of the frame can be painted matte white or black, like Takahama himself had experimented. Seeking to introduce new finishes, the architect hand painted the chair’s chrome frame, however this was not developed as it was not technically feasible at the time. Cassina’s research and analysis, in collaboration with the designer’s heirs and historical experts, therefore respects the original design, identifying unexplored and authentic features that otherwise would never have been discovered.

The new version of Tulu has also improved comfort and aesthetics. The belting and assembly system has been reviewed to further improve the quality of the product. Other new additions to the collection
include the saddle leather finish and new completely removable fabric or leather upholstery.

New finishing for the Djuna side table
The small “genteel” and elegant Djuna table, designed in 1983, is dedicated to Djuna Barnes, an American author and key figure in the Parisian bohemian milieu of the 1920s and 1930s. This side table with a curved chrome plated steel bar frame is now available with new finishings for its elliptical table top: either a matte or reflective polished polyester lacquer finish or a polished or matt white Carrara or black Marquinia marble.

Cassina and Simon: the roots of Italian design.
Cassina and Simon are two brands that date back to the beginnings of Italian design which share key features, including an experimental and innovative attitude, a high level of quality of materials and work processes, the expression of new languages and the promotion of cultural values. Simon was founded in 1968 following the meeting between Dino Gavina and Maria Simoncini and a number of important figures from the world of architecture and modern art such as Enzo Mari, Man Ray, Carlo and Tobia Scarpa and Kazuhide Takahama. This new business venture would combine the cultural experiences and production skills that gave life to a collection of ever-contemporary products which, over the years, have become cult pieces for design lovers, and that are now part of the Cassina