The collection
Desk with rectangular plywood top supported by an angular steel frame with a white drawer unit suspended on the left side.

Desk, Arco

Designed by
Studio Architetti B.B.P.R. (founded 1932), Gianluigi Banfi (1910–1945), Lodovico Barbiano di Belgiojoso (1909–2015), Enrico Peressuttim (1908–1976) and Ernesto N. Rogers (1909–1969)
Lacquered steel, plywood, plastic
Produced by
Olivetti, Milan, Italy
88.9 x 160.8 x 81.3 cm

The Denver Art Museum, the Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection, gift of Eric Brill, 2003.976

Olivetti was the leading manufacturer of innovative office furniture in its day, hiring top architects to head its Design Department, including, in successive periods, Marcelio Nizzoli, Mario Bellini, and Ettore Sottsass. Studio B.B.P.R. (an acronym of the initials of the designers’ last names) designed a desk system with angled legs, interchangeable parts, and simple connections for do-it-yourself assembly, which allowed users to choose and change the configuration of desks and shelves.

This system goes back to the German modular designs of the 1930s and forecast the advent of the open-plan office, such as Herman Miller’s 1964 Action Office.

Denver Art Museum