To celebrate the anniversary of its launch, we take a close look at the collection that contributed to making the furniture brand famous across the world
Text by: Gilda Bruno
It’s already been ten years since Ara Collection was first launched by Italian design house Pedrali; yet, the signature style of this elegant armchair, characterised by clean lines, pastel tones, and the inimitable handle at the end of the backrest, remains as on point as ever.
The perfect combination of effortless refinement and easy handling, Ara is available in three variants — namely as a chair, an armchair, and a lounge — each one meant to accommodate the needs and atmosphere of different environments, from residential sitting rooms to outdoor terraces.
Designed by Barcelona-based Jorge Pensi, Ara is not only another proof of the Argentinian designer’s innate visionary talent but also one of the most representative and sophisticated products by Pedrali. Curiously enough, the distinctive features of the armchair took shape over the table of a cafe where Pensi was seated while waiting for a plane to bring him back to Spain, as the designer said in a press release.
“In 2011, I visited Pedrali’s showroom alongside one of my collaborators to discuss a new project with Giuseppe. The briefing I was given concerned the design of a monobloc polypropylene chair, with and without armrests. On my way back to Barcelona, my flight was delayed and so, while waiting, I drew Ara on a napkin,” Pensi candidly explained.
“As soon as the drawing was finished, I immediately realised that the handle of the armchair would have become its distinctive trait; something that would make it stand out from similar items on the market by preserving its unicity and relevance through the years.”
One of Spain’s leading designers, Pensi is also the mind behind Spanish design icons such as the Toledo chair and the Regina lamp: just two of the numerous creations for which, in 1997, the Argentinian designer became the recipient of the National Design Prize by the Ministry of Industry and Energy and the BCD Foundation for outstanding professional achievement.
As the founder of Jorge Pensi Design Studio, a thriving international team consisting of Diego Slemenson, Constanze Schütz, Roman Proubasta, and Toni Casares, the Argentinian designer has graced an infinite number of locations around the world — including Seoul’s Starfield Library, Albino’s Convento della Ripa, or the private terraces of the Whitepod Eco-Luxury Hotel in the Swiss Alps — with his unique designs.
“Whenever I travel abroad, it is exciting to spot products that were born in our studio and see that not only have people chosen them, but they are also using them. It’s exactly in those moments that you understand how much your work actually matters and you’re able to find the inspiration necessary to proceed on your own path,” Pensi concluded.