Driade - Aesthetic Laboratory

Driade is an aesthetic lab in continuous search for beauty in living space. The vast Driade catalogue includes home, garden and public spaces furniture. Pieces of art and objects for daily use, souls that blend each other harmoniously. All this makes Driade unique in design world. The aesthetic lab is the result of the desire to introduce experimentation into mass-produced products. The search for creativity in each product constitutes the mission of the enterprise itself. Driade creates products that are unique, eclectic, eccentric but at the same time elegant, timeless and, above all, joyful. Within this alchemy of means of expression and sensations, everyone finds a Driade that it looks like him. The art of living is based on the idea that eclecticism, blend of cultures, curiosity and surprise are the true essence of our age. A bent for listening, a state of alert, an attention to register the signs coming from outside and then translate them into daily products. Being permeable to differences makes Driade project one that is open to the future. Driade denies the flatness of globalization but grasps at the freshness coming from the multiplication of places and the development of ideas.

1968 Driade is born, the Aesthetic Laboratory always evolving

Driade is born in 1968 thanks to the joint efforts of a founding group formed by Enrico Astori, the art director who from the beginning defines the product and communication policies; Antonia Astori, a designer who is also the author of the company’s architectural image; Adelaide Acerbi in charge of the brand’s image and communication. Since the beginning Driade asserts itself for the quality of its creative offer and for an industrial policy heavily geared towards innovation, a synergy of three core designer elements: project planning, execution and advertising. Producing design furniture as individual art objects following the rules of collecting. This is how Driade develops as a factory of art.

1968 - 1973 The debut: Oikos and the first icons of design

In 1968 the onset of Driade coincides with the presentation of the system of containers “Driade 1”designed for laying the basis for an interpretation of the typical “container” as an active tool in designing spaces. With this silent revolution, Antonia Astori brings design back into the architecture: the wardrobe becomes a wall and, thanks to “Oikos” (1972) it turns into a partition wall. It is a global system of furniture with which you can build an infinity of piece of furniture, an interface between before and after. The history of Driade in early years is strictly bound to italian design, embracing the professional certainty of Giotto Stoppino and Rodolfo Bonetto, the moral revolution of Enzo Mari, the artistic and behavioural revolution of Nanda Vigo, the classic perfection of Massimo and Lella Vignelli, and the young brashness of De Pas – D’Urbino – Lomazzi.

1969 Due Cavalli armchair

The armchair with chromed tubular iron structure and quilted padding recalls in shape and detail the seat of the legendary CITROEN 2 HORSES car. De Pas, D'Urbino and Lomazzi, inventors of new shapes and new ways of using materials, perform a "pop" action.

1970 The avant-garde of Nanda Vigo in a Blocco

"In a house, many elements of furniture are needed for well-being and should be 'movable', which in reality, once positioned, remain 'fixed'. The tendency to overload the space has always been unacceptable to me, so I have always worked to the limit of what is necessary". Nanda Vigo. The Blocco seat is born with this aim in 1970, it is an authentic icon, still in the collection and proposed with a spirit of joy in the choice of coverings.

1972 The stylistic elements and elegance of Enzo Mari's design in Sof Sof

This chair has harmonious lines that convey the essential elegance of the design by Enzo Mari. Made by Driade in 1972, and redone in 2015, Sof Sof is a timeless icon. The structure is almost a sculpture, made up of nine steel rod rings that simultaneously define the top of the seat and the shape of the back.

1973 The purity of the tables by Enzo Mari

Very lucidly, Enzo Mari decided to realize this tables collection - which includes Frate, Fratello and Cugino - with transparent crystal tops in order to valorise the harsh simplicity of steel sections bases. Designed in 1973, uninterruptedly producted since then, these pieces can be certainly numbered among the most successful of the Milan master.

1979 The first Compasso D'Oro for Driade: Delfina chair by Enzo Mari

Designed by Enzo Mari in 1974 and awarded with the Compasso d'Oro in 1979, the stackable Delfina chair excites with the minimalist elegance of the steel rod structure covered in removable fabric. It will be the first of three Compasso d'Oro won by Driade over the years.

1982 The first furniture manual sold at news-stands

From the beginning it has been assigned to the communication a strategic role that works on two levels: that of the divulgation and that of promotion. Both give rise to a "meta-language" that processes the "words" of individual artists within a stream of communications that include publishing initiatives, graphics slogans, construction of events. In 1983 Driade publishes the first of his furniture manual that it is sold at news-stands. The product documentation overlaps the story of an atmosphere and the allusion to a system of spaces of which individual objects are witnesses and guarantors. Adelaide Acerbi’s graphic accompanies the company in its metamorphosis, from the minimalist rigor of the 70’s to the eclectic complexity of recent years; it is linked to the history of italian photography, involving Mulas, Ballo, Basilico who through their campaigns help to develop that image of crystalline products that over the years will remain as a distinctive sign.

1982 Alessandro Mendini: the beginning of a great collaboration

Starts in 1982 the collaboration between Driade and Alessandro Mendini who designs the Sabrina armchair, a strong and distinctive sign.

1982 Achille Castiglioni, another great Master of Italian design collaborates with Driade

Another great Master who will make the history of Italian design in the world starts his collaboration with the brand: Achille Castiglioni with the Sancarlo armchair, a synthesis of ergonomics and design.

1984 An icon is born: Costes by Philippe Starck

There are objects universally recognized as icons. Costes easy chair that, in 1984, marks the beginning of the partnership between Philippe Starck and Driade such as the consecration of the designer, formerly unknown in Italy, is one of these objects. Designed for the homonymous, now disappeared, Parisian café, owes its timeless success to the absoluteness of forms: a dark wooden embracing structure with three highly tilted legs.

1984 - 1988 Stark and the international turning point

In the 80’s, Driade takes an international turn toward a multiplication of languages. The spirit and initiative of Enrico Astori, aimed at discovering new talents in the world of design, leads to collaboration with the young Philippe Starck. From this moment other illustrious collaborations begin with Tusquets, Clotet, Littmann, Ron Arad, Sipek, Toyo Ito, Chipperfield, Sejima, Pawson, Bellini who together with Mari and Antonia Astori gave life to Driade history, a kaleidoscope of languages that reflects the complexity of developing trends in the world of design.

1988 Borek Sipek - Les Follies and the new Collection The Art of Objects

In the 1980s, Driade is the first furniture company to offer a catalog of objects that complemented and enriched the living spaces. The Driade catalog of objects is one of a kind, thanks to the eclecticism and transversality of the collections that animate it.   It is a story that initially identifies with that of Borek Sipek, a Bohemian artist who develops an original Neo-Baroque language made of blown glass, silver and precious woods, and elaborates it with Driade over the years. The different languages ​​of the object designers who soon joined Sipek - such as Mari, Tusquets, Lovegrove, Antonia Astori, Laudani And Romanelli, to name a few - led Driade, through the Driadekosmo project, to be the multifaceted company we know.

1989 Toyo Ito: the collection Suki & Uki

Master of architecture, the Japanese Ito has proposed over time a few extraordinary tests as a designer. The Suki armchair and the Uki chaise longue, designed in 1987, are among these: mysterious objects for the adoption of a double row of steel mesh spaced by numerous springs. The first collection made entirely of wire mesh.

1991 - 1995 The Art of the Table comes to life

From the white of the ceramic to the glass, from the silver to the steel and the gold, up to the use of the most vibrant colors such as blue and red, The Driade's Art of the Table is a game of materials, shades and decorations. The protagonists of the collection are Antonia Astori's The White Snow table service with all its forms and decorations as a rough canvas on which the painter places his original trait, the Victoria cutlery by Oscar Tusquets and Miamiam by Philippe Starck, the glasses collectible by Borek Sipek.

1995 The Driade Store Collection

In the mid 90’s Driadestore is born a collection of furniture and items for everyday living conceived for young people that shares refined design, streamlined manufacturing systems and idealistic quality and functionality. The confirmation that the experimentation of new forms and new housing solutions constitute the vital soul of the company.

1995 Driade becomes a BOOK

Skira publishes DRIADEBOOK A quarter of a century into project with the graphic design by Adelaide Acerbi, curated by Fulvio Irace. Distributed in bookshops, museums and art galleries around the world, the book tells stories of twenty-five years of design in Italy. The industry, the debate, the authors of a season that changed the image of the industrial product, of domestic art, of interior architecture.

1996 The ingenious design of the Box chair by Enzo Mari

The ingenious design of the Box chair, which can be assembled easily and purchased in a box, provides an injection-molded polypropylene perforated seat and a removable tubular metal structure. The solid and unadorned appearance of the chair, together with the range of bright colors available (including lemon yellow, bright orange and cobalt blue) make Box an immediate success, also because it fits perfectly into the trend of the moment to supply furniture dismantled and packaged in easily transportable containers.

2001 One more Compasso d'Oro for Driade

For Driade, in 2001 Enzo Mari designs a square table, made from a chipboard top finished in ebony and steel legs with aluminum supports. This project wins the second Compasso d'Oro for Driade.

2002 Experimenting by Tokujin Yoshioka in the outdoor furniture

The Tokyo-Pop collection marks, in 2002, the debut on the international scene by Tokujin Yoshioka, now considered one of the masters of contemporary design. The sofa, the armchair and especially the day-bed and the stool, forget the banality of rotational molding to become sculptures. Unforgettable and unusual shapes.

2003 Clouds: the celebration of the 35th anniversary of the brand

To celebrate the 35 years of activity Driade organizes during the Salone del Mobile in Milan the exhibition-event Clouds showing 65 icon items at Rotonda della Besana that testify Driade contribution to the history of modern design.

2007 A new collaboration with Naoto Fukusawa

If we should look for a symbol representing the Japanese gardens art, we would probably choose a stone (in Japanese “ishi”). Naoto Fukasawa develops a big pouf precisely by a small river stone. A naturalistic form first tamed then alienated with the use of innatural colors.

2007 Starckland

In 2007 Driade organizes a big party to celebrate the long-standing collaboration with Philippe Starck.

2008 The third Compasso d’oro for Driade: MT3 by Ron Arad

In 2008 Driade received the Compasso d'Oro for its MT3, a rocking armchair designed by Ron Arad. A long study carried out on industrial technology has made it possible to create the first two-colored piece of furniture through rotational molding. The two-phase introduction of mass-colored polyethylene powder diversifies the embossed external surface from the smooth internal surface, which is revealed by the final cut of the sides performed with a five-axis numerical control machine. This project paved the way for an established rotational molding technique in the outdoors.

2008 The success of The Art of Objects leads Driade to new, important collaborations

2008 is a very profitable year that brings new life and ideas to the Art of Objects collection thanks to new, beautiful collaborations such as the one with Fabio Novembre, which will continue and evolve with great success in the years to come, Mann Singh, Linde Burkhardt, Vittorio Locatelli and Xie Dong, to name a few of the designs that have contributed to enrich the collection presented this year. Le Piazze, the centerpieces designed by Fabio Novembre; Kachnar, an intertwining of flowers and leaves in silver plated brass by Mann Singh; the 6 Amici vases in mother-of-pearl ceramic by Linde Burkhardt; the ceramics crumpled in Adelaide by the artist Xie Dong and the collection of carafes and glasses by Vittorio Locatelli, are some of the wonders still present in the commercial proposal. 

2010 Nemo is born, designed by Fabio Novembre

Fabio Novembre uses furniture design to tell stories. Intense and engaging stories where the human figure is often the protagonist. A figure capable of becoming abstract and universal, of proposing a mythologized beauty as it happened with Greek art. Thus is born Nemo, an armchair head with classic features that, like a mask, conceals and simultaneously reveals its inhabitant.

2011 - 2017 The Lou Family by Philippe Stark is born

The first born is Lou Read, in 2011, the armchair with an organic shape, perhaps even anthropomorphic, entirely covered in leather and hand-stitched. The unexpected comfort is given by the perfect ergonomics of the product. Lou Eat follows in 2016, the simplest and most versatile of the collection, an armchair in leather and designed as a seat for the dining room and also perfect as a single protagonist of spaces. Finally, 2017 is the year of Lou Speak, a swivel armchair, comfortable, enveloping. “When you sit on a Lou Speak you are forced to raise the level of conversation. If you don't, your armchair will look more elegant than you." Philippe Starck

2013 ItalianCreationGroup acquires Driade

Driade is acquired by ItalianCreationGroup, Italian holding company, specialised in the home design and Luxury Lifestyle sectors founded in 2013 by Giovanni Perissinotto, currently Chairman. The group has four brands in its portfolio: Driade, FontanaArte, Valcucine and Toscoquattro.

2014 David Chipperfield - Art Director

After the acquisition of Driade by ItalianCreationGroup, which took place in 2013, David Chipperfield is appointed as Art Director. Over the two years of collaboration, the prestigious architect contributes to strengthening brand awareness at an international level, guaranteeing a first redefinition of those values ​​that have made Driade unique in the history of design.

2015 Zigzag: the restyling of the bookshelf designed by Konstantin Grcic in 1996

Launched in 1996, the versatile ZigZag bookcase designed by Konstantin Grcic returns to the Driade collection after a restyling involving finishes and materials. Still 20 years later, the shelf structure remains unchanged, even though it has been re-proposed in the metal parts in a range of new colors that include black, white, bronze and polished steel. For the two types of wooden shelves, oak and American walnut are available. Ideal for a freestanding location, it is available in two different heights.

2015 Driade outdoor with Elisa by Enzo Mari

Designed in the 70s by Enzo Mari, the Elisa sofa enters the Driade outdoor collection. Extremely comfortable thanks to the large and generous shapes of the polyurethane foam cushions, it is characterized by the essential design of the base, a slender steel structure with sled supports that makes the whole elegant and light.

2016 Konstantin Grcic designs the Mingx family, winner of the Wallpaper* Design Awards 2017 

The design of the Mingx collection issues from the same tubular profile that also inspired the bookcase ZigZag, and develops into an extensive family of elements: seats, stools and tables, which establish a harmonious mutual dialogue that also extends to the bookcase. The name Mingx clearly refers to the Ming dynasty that most influenced the progress of Chinese culture, turning China into the heart of Eastern trade. The tables with American walnut top and tubular steel frame are proposed in the cantilevered or flush version, like the writing desk and the low table. The Mingx collection is also proposed in the outdoor version with quartzite and sheet metal table tops and frames subjected to protective cataphoresis treatment.

2018 Driade's 50th anniversary

Driade was established in 1968 - as a result of a family intuition - by the Astori brother and sister Enrico and Antonia and by Adelaide Acerbi Astori. Their quest for beauty and for exclusive, never commonplace products contributed to the sudden success of a breeding ground for design that was also and foremost capable of conveying a glamorous, global image. After 50 years of trend-setting creativity, in 2018 the brand challenged itself to a Moon Mission / 50th anniversary.

2018 Faye Toogood enters the parterre of Driade designers with Roly Poly

The distinctive, reassuringly chunky lines of Faye Toogood’s Roly-Poly furniture collection become even more inviting in her new collaboration with Driade. The latest line for the Italian design house takes the rounded, welcoming shapes of her limited-edition Assemblage No 4 range. The low seat has been augmented with upholstered cushions that nestle in its curved, bowl-like form; the collection also features a new sofa that further explores the Roly-Poly aesthetic, highlighting the interplay between the graceful arc of the scoop seat and the four stout and solid legs that support it.

2018 Ziqqurat is born. A project by DriadeLab, winner of Wallpaper* Design Award 2019

What could be the design of a container today? This is the question that DriadeLab has set itself as a starting point for research. The result is Ziqqurat, a cabinet that is made up of different boxes which, superimposed, outline an always different shape. This system, in all respects constructive, allows compositions of three different sizes, adapting to living spaces. It is therefore no coincidence that the inspiration for the ancient Egyptian pyramid, such a strong leitmotiv of the project, was enough to choose to mention its name. The shapes and volumes offer a unique character to this special piece of furniture. The company presents the first project created by DriadeLab, the research center and creative heart of the company. Forge of minds, DriadeLab brings together heterogeneous talents who, in an alchemy of languages ​​and sensations, develop their aesthetic inspirations by working closely with production.

2019 Fabio Novembre, new Art Director

Driade chooses Fabio Novembre - in the capacity of Art Director - for ItalianCreationGroup’s most fashionable brand. Fabio Novembre – the prestigious italian designer who has been creating iconic products for Driade’s collections for years – is now the company’s creative leader and the ideal person. Versatility and experimentation, flair and charisma have characterized fabio novembre and Driade marking them out as rebellious spirits on the global design scene. Two, natural, unique-in-their-kind representatives of the italian lifestyle with deep elective affinities. Driade’s 50th anniversary anticipates the future with the contribution of Fabio Novembre, pupil of Sottsass and Mendini, New York movie student and space organizer, globetrotter, trend-setter and lover of beauty.

2019 The new Driade starts again with architects

On the occasion of the Salone del Mobile, Driade has chosen to collaborate with three of the most important international architects. In fact, joining artistic director Fabio Novembre, Bjarke Ingels, founder of BIG, and Michel Rojkind of Rojkind Arquitectos have arrived to extend the wide-ranging line-up of the brand’s designers.  For the occasion Michel Rojkind has created a leather and metal chaise longue, perfectly interpreting his own Mexican origins. Bjarke Ingels, on the other hand, has developed a totemic bookcase that is reminiscent of his project approach to buildings. Finally, with his new Italic armchair Fabio Novembre has attempted to interpret what will be the direction of Driade for the future with a single object: fast, fascinating and always on the move.

2020 Totem Shelf, designed by BIG, wins the Wallpaper* Design Award 2020

TOTEM SHELF, the project designed by BIG for Driade, won the Wallpaper* 2020 Design Award in the Best Block Party category.  This award, recognized by such a referenced, global and crosswise magazine as Wallpaper*, and assigned by a jury made up of the most important names in the world of art, design and fashion, represents a perfect start of the new year for the brand. 

2020 LOVE by Fabio Novembre: the new cupboard that speaks of love 

With its characteristic shape and all to be discovered, the Love cupboard is an expressive board, a two-dimensional poster that speaks of love. From the combination of aesthetics and function, the lines become three-dimensional, the sheet extrudes becoming a container and the letters come out of the sheet generating handles, versatile elements available in various colours and essences. “Love means to choose one another blindly, enveloped in a halo of mystery. Love is a faithful guardian of shared dreams, a container of possibilities.” Fabio Novembre   

2020 The new website is online with the virtual Flagship Store

A fundamental step for Driade: the new website is online. A completely new tool, which is aimed at an increasingly attentive and aware public, who follows the novelties of the world of design and loves and appreciates its history. A story made of iconic products, biographies of the designers who created them, events and history of an eclectic, surprising and always avant-garde brand. A site that is also Shop On Line for a different shopping experience.

2021  BLACK IS THE NEW GREEN , the first capsule collection 100% recycled 

Driade launches Black is the new Green, a capsule collection composed of iconic chairs and armchairs such as Nemo designed by Fabio Novembre, Roly Poly by Faye Toogood, Pip-e by Philippe Starck and Sissi by Ludovica+Roberto Palomba, entirely made of recycled plastic material.This collection is made of material which comes from industrial recycling, partly from internal production waste, and therefore controlled, and partly from post-consumer recycling, Driade, the brand that has made eclecticism its signature style, is committed to developing a path to support sustainability, investing in increasingly innovative production systems that guarantee the lowest environmental impact while maintaining excellence and focusing on health and comfort. Black is the new Green, marks for Driade the turning point towards a green, eco-sustainable approach aimed at improving the impact on the environment, a trend that has already begun with the use of materials and solutions that do not negatively affect the environment, demonstrating that sustainability and sustainable development are not antithetical processes but that they can and must be complementary. In this, sustainability is a categorical global imperative.


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