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Bright and vibrant in innovation when first introduced, the Solair was designed by Montrealers Fabio Fabiano and Michelange Panzini, in 1972. Riding the wave of design energy coming out of Expo 67, and the nationalist fervour of Canada’s Centennial, the two newly minted designers were recruited by Industries Provinciales, Saint-Damien (Québec) to rework the concept of a Canadian-designed, comfortable and stylish, modern indoor and outdoor chair. Using new injection moulding plastic technology and steel framing, the chair was designed over the space of one weekend so as to meet a pressing contract deadline. Since 1989, the chair has been in continuous production and distribution by Industries Emile Lachance Ltée.
Extensively retailed throughout the 70’s the Solair was marketed across Canada and the eastern seaboard of the United States as far south as Florida. A stalwart in Eaton’s and Sears catalogues; the chair went on to become an iconic fixture of North American roadside motels and pools of the period. Lightweight and extremely comfortable, the Solair, with its simple lines and solid practicality exudes an allure that continues to speak to us about its emblematic place in Canadian culture.
-Kate Eisen and Duncan Farnan, InAbstracto, Toronto ON