Kartell was founded by chemical engineer Giulio Castelli, in Italy in 1949, in response to the post war appetite for household goods made from newly available colourful plastics materials. Winning many prestigious awards in its early years for its take on everyday objects, the name Kartell quickly became synonymous with products of exceptional quality. Selecting materials for their functional characteristics and performance enabled Kartell to make products which delivered high quality performance and durability, and which were the best aesthetically. Using the most up to date production methods, Kartell was able to combine innovative technology and materials to produce quality objects that were designed to last. This was in contrast to the popular perception that plastics were cheap and disposable.
Kartell have a series of design firsts to their name, including the first single injection moulded seat produced in ABS, (Universale 4867 by Joe Colombo,1967); the first single-mould chair made in flexible and durable polypropylene without metallic elements or supporting structures (Maui by Vico Magistretti, 1996); the world’s first single moulded chair in polycarbonate (La Marie by Philippe Starck, 1999), and the world’s first rotation moulded polycarbonate sofa (Bubble Club by Philippe Starck, 2000). By engaging designers such as Colombo, Magistretti and Starck, Kartell continue to push the boundaries with its innovative designs celebrating the capabilities of plastics materials.