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Italian Stallion: Legacy Brand Pininfarina Challenges The Design Status Quo

Elizabeth Harper | December 28, 2020 | Home & Real Estate

Fast cars, sleek yachts, alluring architecture, sultry furnishings—at 90 years young, Pininfarina proves age is just a number, but legacy is everything.

openerIMG3931.jpgPininfarina’s furnishings collection was made in partnership with Reflex. The Segno sofa chaise lounge, Speedform Lampadario and Segno Libreria are on display.

Rooted in elegance, luxury and downright sexy design, Italian heritage brand Pininfarina has been crafting profound, innovative creations for nearly a century. And it all started with a man—Battista “Pinin” Farina—and a car—the Lancia Dilambda. Three generations later, the marque has seen the breadth of history since its 1930 founding, yet its ethos remains steadfast. “Identity-wise,” says chairman Paolo Pininfarina, “the Pininfarina of 2020 is the same as it was in the 1930s: the centrality of design; an aesthetic sense capable of creating timeless beauty; the obsession with quality; the force of a tradition that combines industry, technology and stylistic research; the propensity for long-term collaboration.”

Ferrari250GTberlinettaShortWheelBase.jpgThe Ferrari 250 GT SWB circa 1959 from Pininfarina’s portfolio

With such a rich archive, Pininfarina’s catalog of collaborators reads like a who’s who of industry leaders, beginning, fittingly, at its origins: exceptional automobiles. Landmark projects have included the Cadillac V16 (1931), Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider (1954), Dino Berlinetta Speciale (1965), Ferrari Testarossa (1985) and Maserati Birdcage (2005). “The heritage of Pininfarina is strongly related to the imagination of the future,” says lead product designer Paolo Lugaro. “For example, the Ferrari Modulo is an iconic and timeless car while completely breaking the fetters of the traditional stylistic language of the ’70s. … We call it ‘The Tradition of the New.’”

bldg18391cypinin0371high.jpgLuxury residence Cyrela by Pininfarina was built in 2018 in Sao Paulo

As the 20th century faded into the 21st, the brand doubled down on its core sentiment of innovation, branching into product design (Cucina Snaidero Ola in 1991; Lavazza EP 2000 in 1997), sporting (Torcia Olimpica Tornica, 2006), architecture (Ferra Singapore luxury condo in 2013; Cyrela by Pininfarina in Sao Paulo in 2018) and boating (Rossinavi Super Sport 65 in 2019), as well as the furniture space. “Pininfarina’s work is more than revolutionary. We are in a continuous evolution,” says Paolo Trevisan, head of architecture and design. “Our brand is known for its commitment to innovation, and our goal is to create a design that is impactful, that inspires emotion, and that creates memorable and enjoyable moments.”

06Pininfarina00005.jpgPininfarina’s Segno credenza low, Segno Lampadario, Segno 72 table and Sedia Vela dining chairs

The Pininfarina-Reflex collection of furnishings falls under the Pininfarina Home Design unit, which is committed to furthering the brand’s mission of purity, elegance and innovation in the home decor category. Designed in partnership with Reflex—and available at Moderne Living in Chicago—the Segno line within the collection pulls from Pininfarina’s vast experience in car design for an “integrated living system” that includes a modular sofa, a table, a cabinet, a bookcase and two lighting systems. “The Pininfarina-Reflex collection embodies the values of Italian design through its rigorous attention to detail across the entire value chain—from the designer’s pencil until the artisan’s hand,” explains Lugaro.

DiningB3.jpgSegno 72 bevel wood table with Sedia Vela dining chairs

The thoroughly modern, intentional aesthetic of the pieces is steeped in Pininfarina’s codes—each decision exacting and each product working together in concert. Yet there is a certain juxtaposition that lies with Segno. “Contrast,” Lugaro notes, “if managed with the right dose of sensibility and balance, is the base of design evolution in many fields. The dialogue between opposing worlds is the key factor characterizing the collection design for Reflex.” Moderne Living, 230 W. Huron St.

Photography by: Courtesy of Pininfarina