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Boby Trolley by Joe Colombo for Bieffeplast

Stephen Coles

Here’s an original Boby Cart on eBay. Joe Colombo’s 1970 design for Bieffeplast has won many awards and is in the permanent collection at the MOMA. I love its combination of versatility and economy of space. Up to 3 units can be stacked for more storage. B-line (a licensed manufacturer who also created a contemporary takeoff called Spinny) makes it in four colors: red, orange, white, and black. The new pieces go for $250–$500.

Design Museum says:

Rather than simply modernising existing types of furniture, Colombo was intent on reinventing them as new concepts which would be better suited to a mobile, fluid late 1960s lifestyle. One of his obsessions was storage. As early as 1963 he had designed a Combi-Centre container consisting of cylindrical units to store books, drinks or tools, which slot on top of each other in a wheeled unit. The following year he produced the Man-Woman Container, a futuristic version of a 19th century trunk, in which rails, shelves, drawers and mirrors are stashed inside two cupboards: one for a man, the other for a woman. These experiments culminated in the 1970 Boby trolley, a mobile ABS unit of rotating drawers and shelves, which is still in production today.

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