Design icon: Marcuso


Fifty years ago a leading furniture company and an internationally famous designer joined forces to create an “icon” piece of industrial design. The Marcuso table was created in 1969 as a result of the ideal combination of research and innovation. It marked the first use of a ground-breaking method typical of the automobile industry for the creation of a table: specifically, crystal glass and stainless steel were fastened together.
The idea struck Aurelio Zanotta while he was observing the butterfly windows of cars, which are simple latches glued to crystal glass. He decided to apply the system to his production by entrusting the task to the most technologically-minded architect-designer in those years: Marco Zanuso. Zanuso found a solution to fasten the steel legs to the crystal tabletop. He simply glued four stainless-steel discs directly on it (using an unprecedented technique for those years in which glue was polymerised using ultraviolet rays). The discs were threaded so the legs could be screwed on later. The procedure simplified both production and packaging.
The Marcuso table is one of the best examples of industrial design that merges research and passion shared by the manufacturer, designer and technical office. Hence, in 2005 the famous design critic Pilar Viladas wrote in the New York Times Style Magazine that Marcuso was the item he preferred of those designed by Zanuso, and that it impressed him for the innovative top and leg fastening system. «This detail caused me to study it leisurely when I first saw the table at a design show. It was then I understood the relationship between technology and aesthetics in modern industrial design… It has something to do with that special “verve” of modern style, which, all considered, is one of Italy’s greatest contributions to the world of design».