Revisiting a Much Loved Mama

You remember Massimo Iosa Ghini don’t you? Lately familiar to readers of this blog via his newfound use for the revered marble slab, a concept he calls Wave, Ghini is one of the Renaissance men of contemporary design. A Bologna-based product designer, architect, and art director, Ghini is never cavalier about the tasks he takes on.

Big Mama chair. Designed by Massimo Iosa Ghini for Moroso.

“My objective is to tackle projects not only in terms of the aesthetic aspects traditionally associated with design, but by developing the entire creative process, including marketing research, project conception, technical development, engineering, prototyping, design, corporate image and communication.” With such a multi-pronged approach, no wonder he’s been the driving creative force behind projects as diverse as a Ferrari showroom and a Hanover metro station; a luxury car dealership in Coral Gables and a futuristic hotel in Budapest. But before Ghini was busy with interiors and exteriors for Italian Auto Vendors and Hungarian Hoteliers, he collaborated with manufacturer Moroso to create an exceedingly comfy easy chair with the descriptive moniker of “Big Mama.”

Revisiting a Much Loved Mama

Big Mama Sofa. Designed by Massimo Iosa Ghini for Moroso.

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I think “Big Mama,” I think Martin Lawrence. Banishing that unwelcome thought, I proceed to think of more imaginative and alluring incarnations of the concept: the 40s blues legend Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton comes to mind, as does the velvet-voiced and always-alluring Queen Latifah. The examples serve to illustrate what Moroso had in mind when they chose the name for Ghini’s ultra-plush armchair with the stout yet sexy silhouette. Constructed of a hardwood frame wrapped with stress-resistant polyurethane foam and polyester fiberfill, each of the multiple varieties of Big Mamas features detachable feet crafted in beech and removable fabric covers: just the feature to comply with Moroso’s mantra of outfitting their furnishings with “an endless number of fabrics, with various compositions and the most diverse colours and shades” (80 basic fabrics in a choice of more than 600 different colors, to be precise).

This voluminous variety presents you with the happy dilemma of how to outfit your massive matron, in what guise to attire your colossal queen. Will it be ebon on ebon, for the comfort of due formality? Or perhaps an operatic crimson paired with a nourishing chocolate? No matter which adornment you choose, this is one Big Mama that will always welcome you with her comforting, enveloping embrace.

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