The New York Times: The Chair That Took Flight And Never Came Down

Gio Ponti, the man with the trench coat thrown over his shoulders in the 1957 photograph above, was testing a product: tossing the six-pound Superleggera (featherweight) chair into the air at Cassina’s headquarters in Meda, Italy, to demonstrate its lightness and strength. It landed in one piece, and has remained in production ever since. It is $925 at Cassina, 155 East 56th Street; (800) 770-3568.

Ponti, inset top, was an Italian architect who founded Domus, the architecture magazine, in 1928 and designed the Pirelli Tower in Milan in 1956 and the Denver Art Museum in 1972, as well as products for the home. (He died in 1979.) A beautifully designed exhibition of his furniture, glassware and ceramics, ”Gio Ponti: A Metaphysical World,” is at the Queens Museum of Art. And his 1939 embroidered silk fabric called ”The Lovers at the Window,” seen in the background, is being reissued. ”It’s poetic,” said Brian Kish, the show’s curator. ”There’s something deeply human about the design.” $135 a yard at Moss, 146-150 Greene Street (Houston Street), starting in June; (212) 226-2190.

Ponti also designed costumes and churches. ”He always evolved his form, and everything is movement,” Mr. Kish said. ”His design is not static.” The exhibition runs through May 20 at the museum; (718) 592-9700. ELAINE LOUIE

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