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  4. Pratone by Gufram, the evergreen chaise-longue of the '70s
| Designbest editorial staff

W

e are in 1971: three anti-conventional designers (Giorgio Cerretti, Pietro Derossi and Riccardo Rosso) introduce Pratone to the world. Pratone is an extremely unusual piece, which has even something of the blasphemous. “An object for either single or group rest, unstable, its bouncy material qualities make it a piece to be conquered”; this is how Pratone was described in its first presentation. In fact, this is all very true. We think, it must have been the famous romantic comedy of 1967 “Barefoot in the park” to have inspired these designers. Their informal seating idea became a large scale clump of grass, which also included soft and wavy grass blades.

This is how Pratone was born: a chaise-longue light years ahead of the bourgeois style of seventies, free from all confinements, ironic and revolutionary. To put it simply: a striking symbol of Pop culture. This is precisely the type of project Gufram likes. Gufram is the interior design firm from Barolo, in the Piedmont region, north west Italy, which brought Pratone into production.

Pratone has long blades in expanded polyurethane, painted green. This sofa is ideal for sinking in and it also transforms your floor into a large scale lawn. In fact, the original idea wasn't to design an armchair, but a veritable expanse of relaxation. Pratone was designed as an endless modular unit, two or more pieces can be assembled together, transforming any room into a real oasis.

Pratone has a radical soul and a humorous aesthetic. It tore up design conventions, triggering a real cultural revolution, which went against furniture design as it was known. What's more, it became a banner for creative thinking; functionality makes way for a bold silhouette and youth protests become real creative hallucinations. Hippies were known to sink into this piece with great freedom. Among these grass blades conventions are lost and the new generation shakes off the restraints of the past.

It goes without saying, Pratone disrupted interior design rules and conventional behaviour patterns of its time. And even now, this surreal patch of grass is still able to amaze us. In fact, it belongs to some of the most important contemporary art and design collections in the world; part of the greatest design hits of all times. 

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