The etymology of the word magister, meaning maestro in Italian, is derived from the Latin magis. Thus, in a purely etymological sense, magister means the greatest, the very expert, the one who will be the most capable in a certain field, art or skill, to such an extent that they become the benchmark. When Antonio Citterio and Paolo Nava, who designed Magister, picked this name in 1982, they may not have imagined they had created a product that could turn into an icon.
Pietro Galimberti clearly recalls the origins of the goods. The two designers formed a professional partnership that resulted in the growth of numerous products for Flexform; among them, the Doralice armchair and the Filiberto, Pasodoble and, of course, Magister sofas. The Magister sofa climbed out of a desire to create a seating element in stark contrast to the”Divani di Famiglia” collection of sofas and armchairs that was a reinterpretation of shapes reminiscent of the tradition of using soft lightweight slipcovers.
After the”Divani di Famiglia” collection debuted at the Salone del Mobile in 1981, it caused a major stir, launching the company on the international stage. Regardless of the success achieved with the”Divani di Famiglia”, the Galimberti family and the two designers knew the importance of “extending the range” and began to create sofas with very different features.
Influenced in part by the work of some of the Rationalist masters, Antonio Citterio and Paolo Nava developed the idea of a sofa with a very uncluttered, sleek appearance, yet compact with artisanal details. Details designed to underline the company’s ability to craft products that portray the ideal marriage between its talent for innovation and its vast knowledge in classic upholstering.
Also available in a non-tufted fabric upholstered version, the Magister sofa is at its very best in the elegantly tufted leather-upholstered edition.
Magister replaces the button traditionally used in tufting with contemporary button-hole stitching that lends a fresher, more contemporary vibe to the seat cushions and backrest. The sofa is raised off the floor on sleek satin-finished metal foot and the back is characterized by a perforated metal plate which, thanks to a simple yet ingenious mechanism, transforms the Magister sofa into a handy single mattress. Since 1982 the Magister sofa has continued to be one of the sofas that best expresses the company’s commitment to make products that transcend the boundaries of time and fashion, authentic distillations of form and purpose.
Thanks to its uncluttered lines and compact proportions, the Magister sofa is at home in any setting, residential or public, like lounges, lobbies or corporate offices.
Magister belongs to a time in my career when I was examining the experience of early Italian Rationalism, especially pre-Rationalist architecture between the two world wars.The sofa can be converted to a day-bed through a mechanism in the backrest that allows it to fit next to the seat cushion, which is finished with typical mattress-style tufting.
– Antonio Citterio, architect
Magister, a portrait by a master photographer
In case the image of the Magister sofa is indelibly impressed in the collective memory, this is in part thanks to the photographs taken by Gabriele Basilico. The photographs were taken inside the Triennale di Milano, a location dear to the photographer, who created a string of rarefied images in the item, narrated through a vision dense with poetry, as if suspended in a quasi-surreal setting. The view, lighting and placement of the two sofas – one white and one black – all contribute to the creation of strong, profoundly expressive images.