Tobia Scarpa was born in Venice in 1935 and he was the son of the celebre architect and designer Carlo Scarpa, a figure that will strongly affect his projects. Afra Bianchin, his wife, was born in 1937, in Montebelluna. The two of them began their collaboration starting then a professional study in 1959, during the attendance to Franco Albini’s furnishing course.
Afra and Tobia Scarpa graduated at the University IUAV of Venice in 1957 and together they share numerous and famous projects. A common aspect of their projects is an architecture of elegant design and polished in the materials as well as in the shapes.
The two designers are mainly renowned for the production of armchairs, chairs and sofas. Very famous are the Coronado armchairs, celebre for the usage of polyurethane. But not only, they also dedicated to house objects of daily use, clothes and again artistic glass.
The collaborations between the two designers
Afra and Tobia Scarpa contributed to the birth of the Flos society in 1960, realising numerous lamps. Many are the couple’s customers of relief, among which we remember B&B, Cassina, Fabbian, Gavina, Stildomus Veas.
In 1964, they work with the clothing factory Benetton, among the many projects, the two designers have been responsible for the interiors of the offices in Paris, New York and Freiburg. A common thread of their projects is the usage inside their design projects of new technologies.
The two designers also worked with Molteni, the collaboration starts in 1973. The first project is the famous chair Monk.
Starting from 2022, Tobia Scarpa and Afra work together at the Department of Design of the University of Venice. From 2004 to 2007, the couple collaborated to restoration projects of historical buildings such as the Palazzo della Ragione in Verona, the Old Market, always in Verona and again the Galleries of Venice Academy.
Their products can be found in the museums of Europe and United States, among which the collections at MoMA and Louvre. They won various awards such as, for example, the Compasso d’Oro in 1969.