Talia, chair for outdoors


Design by Roberto Barbieri

In Greek mythology, Thalia is the Muse of comedy: a happy face with a mask in hand. A fascinating quick-change actor. So is the homonymous chair by Zanotta, which already came out in 2007 based on the success of chair Lia in 1998-1999 (which in turn was available in 2 versions – a chair and small armchair with armrests). “The 2007 Talia was a special stackable, also available with a special trolley to carry up to 15 chairs stacked on top of each other,” says the author of this large family of Zanotta chairs, designer Roberto Barbieri. “The second one was only created in an indoor version, with a slightly padded back and seat. It was a lively and comfortable, transportable chair. In 2008, this solution was perfected with a third new entry. The outdoor Talia, finished so well that it fits nicely indoors as well.” Barbieri looks at the series in progress with satisfaction, also because the company has invested considerably in finishes and production techniques. A lot has transpired between the first project and the last product. “Yes, the need to expand the catalogue of outdoor accessories made Talia the perfect option: glossy, brushed or painted aluminium whose glossy aluminium finish or treated with epoxy paint to resist the weather were perfect for the outdoor version. This further integration for open-air use is the solution of woven PVC rod with an internal, nylon reinforcement all in a nice brown colour.” On the same subject, Barbieri quotes another “muse”, the woven rattan chair by Mies van der Rohe. A well-woven product gives the product itself prestige, and the same holds true for Talia. It is the cream of weaving, considering that it is completely done by hand using the same ancient technique and workmanship, which are explained by the architect: “However, the operation here is facilitated by the reinforced PVC thread, which is longer and softer than rattan. And once the chair is completed, it is immediately more comfortable and welcoming than the natural-fibre version, which remains rather rigid for some time just after it has been woven – especially the seat.” For certain aspects, designers, like great fashion designers, are very similar to expert craftsman and artists: the subject thrills them.