Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Design 1900 to Now, Room 74


1970 (designed), 1970 (made)
Place of origin

Object details
Object type
This object consists of 4 parts.

  • Trolley
  • Tray
  • Shelf
  • Lid
Materials and techniques
Injection-moulded ABS plastic
  • Height: 73.2cm
  • Width: 42cm
  • Depth: 43cm
Marks and inscriptions
Joe Colombo (Signature in raised relief on bottom shelf)
Gallery label
  • Compact space-savers As compact living has become more common, designers have created smart, multifunctional and small-scale solutions for furniture, storage and technology. The Kubus glass boxes fit together interchangeably and are heat resistant, making them useful for storing and heating foods. The compact sink and wall-mounted CD player were both designed for smaller homes with less space, while the Boby trolley offers flexible storage on wheels suitable for any room of the house. Stackable glass containers Kubus, about 1938 Designed by Wilhelm Wagenfeld Manufactured by Vereinigte Lausitzer Glaswerke, Germany Press-moulded glass Museum no. C.154&A, B, D to J, L, N, O P-1980 Flexible storage trolley Boby, 1970 Designed by Joe Colombo Manufactured by Bieffeplast, Italy Injection-moulded ABS plastic Given by Valerie Mendes Museum no. W.5:1 to 4-1992 Small sink for the Barbican Estate, London 1966 Designed by L Michael Hohmann and Chamberlin, Powell and Bon Manufactured by Twyfords, UK ‘Ceramant’ vitreous ceramic Museum no. CIRC.395-1967 Wall-mounted CD player with pull-string switch 1999 Designed by Naoto Fukasawa Manufactured by Muji, Japan ABS plastic and electronic components Museum no. CD.80:1, 6-2016 The object sits in the 'Housing and Living' section of the Design 1900-Now gallery opened in June 2021. (2021)
  • STORAGE TROLLEY: BOBY Designed by Joe Colombo (Italian, 1930-1971), 1970 Made by Editions Bieffeplast, Caselle di Selvazzano, Padua, Italy from 1970; still in production Injection-moulded ABS plastic Given by Valerie Mendes W.5-1992 This trolley, designed specifically for the drawing office, has been widely used in the home and is an example of expropriation of office furniture by the domestic market. The layered construction provides flexible storage, while the castors make it easy to move around at will.(1992)
Credit line
Given by Valerie Mendes
Historical context
The Boby Trolley is one of Colombo's best known designs, originally intended for use in studios but picked up by the design conscious for use in kitchens, bathrooms and studies.
Accession number
W.5:1 to 4-1992

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Record createdFebruary 12, 2008
Record URL
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