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The 25-Year Collaboration Between Paola Lenti and Francesco Rota

Paola Lenti and Francesco Rota's enduring partnership has been marked by significant milestones, especially in their creations for the outdoor furniture market. Three collections, namely Frame, Cove, and Wabi, stand out as notable advancements from their earlier Aqua collection, which made its debut in 2003.

The initial success of Aqua, known for its textile character, marked Paola Lenti's foray into outdoor furniture. Building on this triumph, the collaboration intensified its exploration of materials. The goal is to introduce outdoor upholstery coverings with ever-increasing comfort, aesthetics, and substance, closely resembling indoor fabrics.

This period saw the commencement of a dynamic exchange and interchange of ideas between Paola Lenti and Francesco Rota, even occasionally swapping roles while respecting their different functions. 'Paola was conducting extensive material research, while I was envisioning the forms', recalls the designer. 'But we always worked collaboratively on ideas, sometimes even trading roles. We wanted to find our own language, one that we both shared and that set us apart from all others.' The advancement in both materials and design, is embodied by three collections that are as contemporary today as they were then: Frame, Cove, and Wabi.

Frame comprises a range of sectional sofas, sun beds, benches, platforms, and side tables built around a modular construction concept, allowing for various configurations. This project employs extruded aluminum profiles as base modules. Francesco Rota designs multiple seating options, and Paola Lenti "dresses" them with Rope braids. These pieces are completed with seat pads and cushions available in thousands of shades from the company’s colour range.

Cove, on the other hand, is the first outdoor seating series that offers appearance and comfort comparable in every aspect to indoor furniture. The collection, consisting of armchairs, sofas, sun beds, and ottomans, pays homage to essentiality.

Wabi sofas, armchairs, and swings stem from a shared aspiration to craft products from natural materials using traditional weaving techniques. The series is inspired by reeds or wicker pack baskets and is characterized by a handwoven backrest with water-repellent rope cords on a sassafras wooden structure.

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Paola Lenti

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