‘Marilyn’ lips sofa, made in Italy

Made by Gufram in Italy, Europe, 1970.

The Bocca sofa is one of the most recognised examples of designs from the late 1960s and early 1970s. Studio65 sought to rebell against tradition or as articulated in their manifesto create designs that were a “slap in the face of the public tastes”. The Bocca sofa howerver succeeds on many levels it is at once ironic, sensual and symbolic. Designed by Studio65 and made by Gufram. Studio65 was established in Turin, Italy by architect Franco Audrito. It was one of a number of Italian design tea...


Object No.


Physical Description

'Marilyn' sofa of moulded polyurethane foam in the form of a pair of lips, the back forming the upper lip and the seat the lower lip. Upholstered in red stretch nylon fabric with a red zipper to the back of the semi-circular shaped base.


No marks



830 mm


2100 mm


780 mm


33 kg



Designed by Studio 65 and made by Gufram. Studio 65 was established in Turin, Italy by architect Franco Audrito. It was one of a number of Italian design teams to successfully ride the wave of innovative design, mostly in the pop idiom in the 1960s. Its evocative shape would not have been possible without polyurethane foam or the lipstick red synthetic fabric covering.

The availability of new materials (Polyurethane body and synthetic textile) made the realisation of the form a lot simpler and lighter compared to traditional materials.


Gufram 1970



This sofa was purchased from Copeland & de Soos in Woolahra, Sydney, by the Powerhouse in 1985 to develop the furniture collection and the first furniture exhibition at the new Museum's 1988 opening, 'Take a Seat'. It had originally been purchased by a Sydney family in New York in 1972.

While the sofa is named 'Bocca' by the sofa's maker, Gufram, 'Marilyn' is a commercial nickname given by Eleanor Stendig, wife of Charles Stendig who was the New York-based US importer of Gufram from the 1970s to 80s and the origin of this very sofa (see history tab). The name 'Marilyn' and its association with Marilyn Monroe was felt to be a more appealing name for Americans while Bocca (Italian for mouth) would not necessarily have been understood by English speakers.


Credit Line

Purchased 1985

Acquisition Date

21 January 1985

Cite this Object


'Marilyn' lips sofa, made in Italy 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 21 August 2018, <https://ma.as/52961>


{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/52961 |title='Marilyn' lips sofa, made in Italy |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=21 August 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display in Icons: From the MAAS Collection at the Powerhouse Museum.

Know more about this object?


Have a question about this object?