Gufram’s 1972 Pratone: A Chaise Lounge Outside Tradition Values

As the festivities of New York Design Week have us jumping from one exhibition to the next we are being introduced to what are perhaps the most creative new pieces in the world right now. As much as one appreciates being doused with forward-thinking innovations, we want to take a moment to celebrate an iconic piece of the past.

Currently on display at Wanted Design is the Pratone by Gufram, a chaise lounge that is not for the lazy.  Looking more like a modern sculpture than a piece of furniture, the Pratone was designed in 1972 to free people from conditioned behaviors by elevating the simple act of sitting to an interactive experience.  Constructed of polyurethane foam, the over-sized stalks of grass that make up the Pratone are at once pliable and unpredictable, creating an unconventional seating situation that challenges both the sitter and traditional design values.

Conceived by the legendary Giorgio Cerretti, Piero Derossi and Riccardo Rosso, the Pratone has become an emblem of the anti-design cultural revolution.  The juxtaposition of natural imagery and man made materials presents a purposeful irony in the vein of Pop Art, as does the bright, flat coloration - an unapologetic Green as signifier of "grass."  Despite the design's obvious indulgence in the "I'm OK You're OK" ethos of the early 70's, the Pratone was still light years away from typical interior design of middle class homes. 40 years later, the lush lunacy of this iconoclastic settee would still make for a striking centerpiece in any living room.

Word on the street is, Gufram has brought a limited edition of 200 Pratone chairs back into production, making fans of both ground-breaking design AND Honey, I Shrunk the Kids very, very happy. 

Photography courtesy of Gufram