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Afra Scarpa, 1937-2011
Tobia Scarpa, b. 1935

Widely recognized as superstars of postmodern Italian design, husband and wife team Afra and Tobia Scarpa believed that a close collaborative process was pivotal to the success of their designs. After meeting as architecture students at the Università Iuav di Venezia, they created their first collaborative piece, the Pigreco armchair, later produced with Gavina.

The prolific pair designed for the most influential European manufacturers, including B&B Italia, Cassina, Knoll and FLOS. Afra and Tobia were among FLOS’s earliest collaborators, and their pioneering designs for the brand included the Papillon lamp, one of the first fixtures to use halogen technology. Their most recognized designs include the Bastiano sofa (1962), the Vanessa bed (1959), the Coronado sofa (1966) and the Soriana seating collection (1970), which was awarded the Compasso d’Oro in 1970.

Scarpa designs are in collections at the Louvre, the Museum of Modern Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum.