Cini Boeri by Mia Hacking

Cini Boeri is an Italian architect and designer. Soon to be 91 years old[1], she was born on June 19th, 1924, and graduated from the Politecnico di Milano University in 1951 with a diploma in Architecture. Following her degree she pursued a short internship with architect and industrial designer Gio Ponti. She then entered a long-term collaboration with Marco Zanuso, co-founder of Arflex[2]. In 1963, Boeri opened her own architecture and design studio, designing house and apartments around the world. Her focus lies in functionality and the psychological relationship of man and his environment. Cini Boeri’s achievements were honoured in 1979 when she was awarded the Compasso d’Oro.

Triple threat character, she explores architecture as well as interior and product designs. Boeri, well known for her works with Arflex, is a world-renown interior designer. She experimented with the concept of pliability and expandability throughout her career and has developed revolutionary boundary pushing design works.

Her most famous works are part of the Arflex collections. In 1967 Bobo Divano was unveiled, one of the first seats without an interior frame. The sofa is made only of polyurethane foam. A family of Bobo[3] furniture is developed following the Divano, all examples of pure designs and the continuity of shape. Research on monobloc plastic shape successfully achieved a goal of no frame furniture.

Winner of the Compasso d’Oro[4] prize, Strips (1972), is one of the most famous designs and is engraved within the Arflex history. The sofa is displayed in multiple museums around the globe such as the Triennale in Milan and Tokyo and the MoMA in New York. The Strips collection offers, sofas, beds and sofa beds for numerous combinations to fit clients’ needs. The concept of Strips is to improve quality of life by simplifying the act of modulating furniture. Easy to maintain, the quilted cover of the furniture is removable. In the bed’s case, the cover simply becomes part of the bedding by unzipping its sides. A pillow is the only item to be added to create a comfortable bed setting. For the sofa, the cushioning is integrated within the cover, using polyurethane foam for optimal comfort. A wooden structure provides the frame, opposite to the Bobo Divano, which marks the first time these innovation materials were used within furniture.

Last but not least, Serpentone, an innovative sofa designed in 1971, also created out of polyurethane foam, allows possibility for unlimited sofa length and positioning. Thin disks attached to a flexible central core, allow the client to create a free flowing sofa, with convex and concave waves to suit its allocated space.

In conclusion, Cini Boeri is an innovative interior designer and has revolutionized the structures of so­­fas, leaving unlimited possibilities for continuous of shapes. Her collaboration with Arflex has benefitted both parties, with the achievement of revolutionary furniture, even gaining worldwide recognition for her designs. From frameless structures to client interaction, Boeri has kept a memorable reputation and serves as inspiration to current and future interior designers.

Bobo Divano by Cini Boeri, 1967.
Bobo Divano by Cini Boeri, 1967.
Strips by Cini Boeri, 1972.
Strips by Cini Boeri, 1972.
Serpentone by Cini Boeri, 1971.
Serpentone by Cini Boeri, 1971.

[1] Cini Boeri turns 91 on June 19th, 2015.

[2] Arflex created in 1947 with a group coming from Pirelli and Marco Zanuso, the brand was founded mainly on innovative materials, as they experimented on foam rubber and elastic tapes for furniture.

[3] Boborelax, Bobolungo and Boboletto.

[4] Award established in 1954, is the most influential international design award.


ADI Foundation. Compasso d’Oro. (accessed May 06, 2015).

Arflex. Arcadia present Architect Cini Boeri. October 23, 2012. (accessed May 05, 2015).

—. Bobo Divano. 2015. (accessed May 03, 2015).

—. History. (accessed May 05, 2015).

—. Strips. 2015. (accessed May 03, 2015).

Cini Boeri. (accessed May 05, 2015).

Cini Boeri. (accessed May 03, 2015).

Cini Boeri. February 13, 2015. (accessed May 04, 2015).

Masera. “Product.” Cini Boeri Architteti. (accessed May 06, 2015).

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