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THE FIAT 500
If for an Italian, the 1957 Nuova Fiat 500 represents the infancy of the automobile, for the rest of the world, the immense little car symbolises Italy. A miniature masterpiece of economy and simplification, the bambina is a true manufacturing miracle.
THE CHAISE RIETVELD
The Red-Blue Chair, built in 1918 by Dutchman Gerrit Rietveld and painted by him in 1923, revolutionised the language of furniture design, as well as that of architecture. The chair, a piece of pure creativity, was recognised as the physical expression of the principles of the De Stijl movement, founded by Piet Mondrian and Theo Van Doesburg.
THE LEGO BRICK
LEGO bricks, born in 1949, have become a must-have toy. Their Danish creator, Ole Kirk Christiansen created a revolutionary concept – modular plastic bricks that can interlock thanks to an ingenious system of blocks and cylindrical tubes. The name LEGO has become synonymous with creativity, durability and unlimited imagination.
THE ARCO LAMP
ARCO is a lighting classic, an essential object of contemporary design. Its characteristic arch, its white Carrara marble base and its sparkling aluminium globe are immediately recognisable. Its clean lines are reminiscent of a bell-shaped flower or of a reassuring street light in an urban night.
THE COMPASS TABLE
Jean Prouvé’s “architectural” table is a skilful blend of design, architecture and engineering. Using a metal structure, angled legs and triangular forms, Jean Prouvé once again turned to his favourite material – folded sheet metal.
“A silent engine so you can hear the sounds of the countryside and the birds singing, a top speed of 20 miles an hour so you can enjoy the scenery and feel the breeze on your skin (…), the act of pedalling the engine along to stop you going numb”: Jacques Sternberg’s tribute to the Velosolex evokes the immense appreciation the little vehicle has enjoyed since 1946.