Arflex began operations in 1947. Aldo Bai, Pio Reggiani, and Aldo Barassi - a group of technicians from Pirelli - teamed up with a young architect named Marco Zanuso and began to experiment with the use of foam rubber and elastic tapes for the furniture industry.
Zanuso's experience with upholstery industrialisation, namely the application of new materials to new technologies, was a catalyst to Arflex's forward-looking vision. It took the company two years of intensive experimentation before its designs were displayed to the public at the IX Triennale in Milan, where it received the Gold Medal.
This early contact with a wider audience in the context of an avant-garde artistic event is significant. Arflex sought to bring the experimentation inherent to the Avant-garde into practical applications. From Gold medal-winning domestic furniture such as the Sleep-o-matic sofas and Fourline armchairs, to commercial seating designs for the automotive industry, Arflex strove to establish itself at the forefront of furniture design.
The company's innovation grew in the late 1960s with a range of designs in polyester resins and fibreglass. Its market reach also expanded, with new manufacturing and sales plants across Europe.
In the present day, Arflex maintains its ethos of innovation. Award-winning designs from Claesson, Koivisto & Rune have characterised the close and productive relationship between Arflex and the Swedish architects, with the Hillside system winning the Wallpaper Design Award 2010. Such awards, alongside a presence in prestigious collections such as New York's Museum of Modern Art, are testament to Arflex's longstanding and ongoing excellence.