Archetypes: Cumano


The small table by Achille Castiglioni

Designer Achille Castiglioni
Project year 1978
Production year 1979

Typology Folding table

Structure and surface
painted steel; sliding joint in ABS

Color black, white, amaranth, anthracite, coral, mustard, light blue

wall hook for hanging

55x70cm h (114cm h folded)

Awards Selected for the Compasso d’oro in 1981

Museums Die Neue Sammlung, München - Israel Museum, Jerusalem - Kunstgewerbemuseum, Berlin - Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe,Hamburg - Fondazione Triennale Design Museum, Milano - Thessaloniki Design Museum, Saloniki - Fond National d'Art Contemporain, Paris - The Saint Louis Art Museum -Indianapolis Museum of Art

The folding table ‘reinvented’ by Castiglioni was the result of research done into anonymous archetypes in modern and functional furniture. It was a three-legged table with a round top, which in the 1800’s was mainly used outdoors. Castiglioni redesigned the basic components and rethought it in terms of interior design. Cumano became a Zanotta bestseller from 1980 onwards, when it was selected (with the Celestina chair and Servi clothestands) as representing the most advanced expressions in Italian design in the history of the Forum Design exhibition in Linz (Austria), illustrating the best of Neomodern; the pavilion was decorated by Achille Castiglioni himself.

The innovation of Castiglioni’s folding table is in the sliding ABS joint to which two of the three legs are attached the third one slides within. Cumano became the first piece to use such a simple and refined folding system. The proportions of the circular top and the 14mm steel rod legs are perfect, and it is designed so that the table top and leg latch into place with the same stratagem: a small indentation at the end of the rod. The table can be hung up (via a hole in its top), on a wall hook supplied by Zanotta. This practical and versatile all-rounder has known decades of popularity, and is a welcome addition to any environment.