Founded in 1973 by Vittorio Livi, FIAM was the first company to produce furnishing items in curved glass. Every item made by Fiam is the result of a combination of craftsmanship and industrial processes that merge tradition, innovation, hand-crafting and design.
The contradictions of glass
Vittorio Livi was fascinated by glass from a very young age. It is a mass of seeming contradictions, and Livi loved it for just that, as well as for its practical qualities. Glass is solid and fragile, natural and artificial, ancient and industrial all at the same time. It can be both glacial, minimal and cold, as well as warm, material, elegant and technological. Glass is environment-friendly and hygienic: it may look simple, because of its transparency, but both its chemistry and its physics are really very complex. Glass is endlessly recyclable so this is the most ecological material that exists.
Despite glass being typically used in the furniture sphere in production of small accessories and ornaments, Livi saw its potential on a larger scale. He set out to design and produce items of furniture which would be astonishingly solid yet beautifully transparent; design items which would rise above the age of their production, untouched by the passing years, spaces and fashions.
One of the most iconic Fiam designs is the Ponte coffee table. Designed by Angelo Cortesi in 1977 the Ponte is still manufactured today and marked the beginning of a series of partnerships with prestigious designers of international acclaim that have included Daniel Libeskind, Massimiliano Fuksas, Philippe Starck, Marcel Wanders and Cini Boeri.
Highlights have included the first dining table made from a single sheet of glass in 1984, the iconic and multi awarded ‘Ghost’ chair by Cini Boeri in 1987 and important collaborations in 1998: the ‘Clear’ collection with Ron Arad, the ‘Vulcano’ coffee table by Vico Magistretti, the ‘Caadre’ mirror by Philippe Starck featuring a combination of curved glass and mirror.
Nearly 50 years on, Fiam remains the leader in this industry and its products are on display in twenty-five museums around the world. Adding to this remarkable legacy is the Villa Miralfiore, a historic building in Pesaro constructed in 1260 that has been restored by Vittorio Livi and dedicated as a museum for works of art in glass produced by Lvi himself and numerous other Italian and international artists.