At first seating comfort, now environmental comfort: 30 years of continued success.

Ares Line, Italian leading company producer of office chairs and contract seatings, celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2017.
A substantial history of continued success and strategies to react to market changes.
So far the focus was on ergonomic aspects and seating comfort, now the scope has been extended to environmental comfort through Fonology based on acoustic technological solutions. Ares Line could combine passion for handicraft and the power of an economic structure, focusing on finding next-generation materials and innovative applications.

Environment-friendliness, internationalization and lean thinking are three basic driving forces behind its growth, as explained in our interview by Nicola Franceschi, CEO and founding partner of Ares Line e di Fonology, and creator of Contract Design Network.

Which are the main steps in the increasing growing of Ares Line?

“In 2017 we celebrated our 30 years and, together with my partner Roberto Zuccato, I can proudly say that, starting from scratch, we are now a top-level organization!
In short, four major milestones:
In 1995, when we realized that the chair was underestimated in workplaces, together with the designer Giovanni Baccolini, we expanded our supply to seating systems for universities, auditorium, conference rooms and theaters. This choice led to the success of our brand worldwide.
At the same time we were the first manufacturers of office chairs in Italy to certify the company (standard ISO 9001).
The collaboration with Pininfarina, in 2002, led to the creation of several successful models, among them Xten chair, the chair system for auditorium Premier and the cool waiting sofa PF3.
Finally, Contract Design Network (CDN) was established in 2011, it is a network of companies that work together, to combine their research in order to offer ergonomic environments and cutting-edge design.

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At first seating comfort, now environmental comfort…Being a manufacturer of chair, why did Ares Line extend its applications to the field of acoustics? 

Seating systems for community have always been an integral part of an acoustic project, and we aimed to the supply of an increasingly complete and qualified service, so we have now Fonology, a division specifically dealing with architectural acoustics and with a new design approach based on several materials. Our team is steadily looking for innovative and refined acoustic materials.

Which iconic products are representative of Ares Line identity to the fullest? 

Xten Chair is our iconic product by definition.
However, the best-seller is the desk system Omnia with the following new model named Evolution, both designed by Giovanni Baccolini.
Finally, Papillon, acknowledged as the best folding chair for theaters with several attempts to imitate the product.


1, Xten Chair by Pininfarina for Ares Line.
2, Evolution desk system by Ares Line and acoustic panels Listen by Fonology at Auditorium della Pontificia Università Gregoriana in Rome.
3, 4 Different fit out equipped with Evolution in the multimedia rooms of Future Learning Space: UPO Campus Perrone in Novara.

5, Papillon Chair inside the multifunction hall Crosà Neira
6, Rossini arm chair: customized solution for Teatro Comunale di Bologna.
7, Customized chairs inside the concert hall of Carmen Würth Forum designed by Chipperfield.
8, Customized solution at BNP Paribas in Luxembourg.



CasaCDN: people and things come together in Milan.

CasaCDN is a new meeting place in Milan where people and things come together to develop Contract Design Network (CDN) business. Opening next 13th and 14th December.

Nicola Franceschi, CEO of Ares Line, came up with the idea for the Contract Design Network (CDN) in 2011 and it has gone on to gain its own identity and strength over the years.
The CDN is based on a strategic business agreement between 11 Italian companies which together have total revenues of over Euro 70 million, employ a workforce of around 300 people and have a sales force of over 200 professionals. So far, they have performed almost 100 joint projects, for estimated revenues of over Euro 10 million (principally over the last three years).

One of the major driving forces behind the CasaCDN is Fabio Maset, owner of MosaicoGroup, one of the network’s most dynamic companies. It will be home to the entire CDN team. CasaCDN will be the place where the CDN partners meet and also the location for training events and the presentation of new products and solutions.


The area is on three levels and includes a small multi-purpose room with seating for around 20 people on the ground- floor level, home to all the innovative aspects of the 11 companies involved. There is also a meeting area and a joint workspace with 8 workstations on the ground floor and the first floor, and a second conference room seating 24 people in the basement. There are video and audio connections in all rooms, which all have the latest technological equipment.

The intention is to open others in various strategic cities and add to the CDN showrooms already operating in Paris Rabat and Managua.

CasaCDN: Viale Gian Galeazzo 31, Milan.
Opening evening with musical entertainment and finger food on 13 and 14 December, from 4,00 to 8,30 p.m., by invitation only. (




Building automation and ergonomics.

Automation, flexibility and an interconnected space: the Campus Perrone’s Pavillion C of the UPO’s University shows how probably the future learning spaces will be. The key role of the ICT is enhanced by the comfort and ergonomics of the Ares Line’s seats Evolution and by the MosaicoGroup’s audio-video and lighting system, following the concept of a Technology Enabled Learning space.

How is gonna be the future learning space? Studio CM has tried to give us a hint with their project of the Campus Perrone of the University of the Eastern Piemonte in Novara, showing how the interior design trends of the office and of the learning environments are following the same paths: energy saving, building automation, and the research of a constant link between the inside and the outside of the building.

The project has been realized in collaboration with two companies of the Contract Design Network: MosaicoGroup has designed the audiovideo and lighting system, enhancing the role of the ICT, providing the building with a low latency and easy to control streaming framework that allows to broadcast and receive the audio-video signal throughout the Campus and the entire university. Ares Line has supplied about 1000 seats for the different environments and in particular Evolution, an improvement of the best seller product Omnia, and has designed the teacher’s desk in order to fit perfectly the different multimedia applications provided by MosaicoGroup.
The whole building appears as a functional and colored environment, easy to control through personalized devices that allow to manage the different rooms, the volume of the microphones, of the streaming and of the lights.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

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Acoustic cocoons and meadows (Ares Line/Fonology, hall 24 stand D15/E12).

Acoustics, ergonomics and proxemics, offer suggestions for new design approaches presented by Ares Line and Fonology at Salone del Mobile inside the Contract Design Network shared stand (hall 24, stand D15 / E12) designed as a “parliament” to display the different brands, by the claim “Space to your time”.

Base, Ares Line, by Frigerio Design.

A modular sound proofing screens system to create protected individual or relational spaces; places to meet up, focus, relax or participate; affording privacy when necessary, or room for interaction and sharing as needed.
It can be used as a simple sound screen, as a seat or a meeting space, since it is versatile by vocation.


Prà, Fonology, design by Sandro Rai.

Prà is inspired by the iconic Pratone by Gufram (design Ceretti / Derossi / Rosso 1971) and offers new acoustic performances.
The blades of grass, covered with soundproofing fabric, have a metal structure that makes them flexible and allows twists 360 °.The base is designed to be a closed container or a library.


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Ares Line for the community: hidden seats and acoustics.

Ares Line and its acoustics brand Fonology were back again at Workplace3.0 this year in the shared Contract Design Network‘s stand. Among the new products the most interesting were Ares Line’s Myspace and Ventuno.9 and Fonology’s Easy Air and Petra, a soundproof stone.

Enter the space that gives you space”, this was the slogan at Workplace3.0 of Contract Design Network, a business network of leading companies in the community-spaces design’s sector. In particular, Ares Line and Fonology focus on environments such as convention halls or conference rooms, offering seats but also solution for the acoustics.
The other companies in Contract Design Network are DecimaMasonOmsi, Quinze & Milan, Radio Marconi, Medit, Mizar, Nesite e ZetaLab.

Fonology, through researching and experimenting new soundproof materials, helps designers selecting combinable products that offer maximum creative freedom. Wood, concrete, wool, steel, mdf. Fonology is the connection point between sound and material.
 In addition to traditional sound absorbing materials, Fonology uses and converts reflective materials par excellence, transforming them and enhancing them to their full acoustic potential. An approach that allows for the broadest choice of materials, the widest freedom of use, and above all, a new interpretation of sound absorption.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

1-4, Myspace, designed by Giovanni Baccolini. A compact chair (the overall dimension of the basic version is 16cm) ideal for use in limited spaces and for being housed in Mason’s telescopic seating systems, with their automatic system for storing seats out of sight beneath the floor. With an adjustable backrest pitch and height, the rollaway can be customised with prestigious finishes in an entirely upholstered Plus or Wood version, with the backrest rear panel, underseat and armrest tops in a choice of wood finishes. It can be accessorised with a side-writing tablet.

5, 6 Ventuno.9 and Ventinove.9designed by Giovanni Baccolini. Ventinove.9 is an innovative Conference chair designed by Giovanni Baccolini for Ares Line. It offers maximum comfort while reducing overall dimensions to less than thirty centimetres (with an A4 size writing tablet) and less than twenty-two centimetres (Ventuno.9, without a writing tablet). All this can be achieved with a “moving back” system for the backrest that follows the natural movement of the user’s back. As Myspace they can be easily hidden beneath the floor using a simple automatic system.
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Petra. Petra is a soundproof slate finish for a better sound propagation, it can be completely integrated with all the other Fonology panels, allowing the customer to realize finishes of a great effects in different materials.

9, 10 Easy Air, design di Simone Micheli.  Easy Air is a painted metal structure that allows very easy installation of the round and square soundproof and heat insulating Airtwin panels. Thanks to its magnetic anchoring system, the panels can be easily replaced or changed, allowing versatile ways to renew compositions.Ideal as an easy- to- remove partition, Easy Air can be moved as required, since there is no need for any structural intervention. The option of mounting up to nine panels guarantees a high-performance acoustic insulation, reducing noise by 35%.

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CDN (Contract Design Network) shared stand at Salone Ufficio 2013 (design by Progetto CMR).

Shared stand: CDN and HOC.

Ways Of Exhibiting: shared stand.


Especially in a difficult period, people try to find innovative solutions to cut down costs, exhibit in a different way and get general benefits.  The shared stand is the “Way Of Exhibiting” to leave the logic of a mere presentation of products and offer more fascinating and concrete settings to the visitor, with considerable advantages for the wallet, too! At the next Salone Ufficio we’ll see two interesting examples: CDN (Dieffebi, AresLine, Flex, Mizar) and HOC (Citterio, Gallotti & Radice, Former, Knoll).

“By agreeing to CDN, it was only too natural to exhibit together, with many obvious benefits” explains Alberto De Zan, CEO Dieffebi. The network entrusted Progetto CMR with the design of the stand and Hangar with visual comunication”. We ask the  senior associate of Progetto CMR about the concept of the stand. “The Stand is a Communicating  Habitat, to convey story, values, philosophy, ethical code and product details through space and visual solutions with a marked emotional impact – explains Giovanni Giacobone, senion associate Progetto CMR, and adds- The Stand is a temporary Place, yet rich in values and emotions, that remain.

HOC a “shared stand” of 360 m2 designed by Kicco Bestetti. “In our industry the  visual and tactile aspects are quite importants” states Vittorio Veggetti, managing director of Citterio and adds “owe made ‘tailored designs’, so we must create  empathy with the customer”. “Although consistent with the global scenario, every company keeps its own identity; each one tells its own story through its products and further develops its strength thanks to the benefit coming from a typological completion – explains Silvia Gallotti owner of Gallotti & Radice.