Antonio Bonet was a Spanish architect, furniture designer and city planner who is most well-known for the B.K.F. Butterfly chair that he designed together with Juan Kurchan and Jorge Ferrari Hardoy in 1938. (B.K.F. stands for Bonet, Kurchan and Ferrari Hardoy). The three architects also founded the influential design group Grupo Austral during the same year.
In 1936 Bonet joined the studio of Le Corbusier in Paris and during the 1930’s Bonet Castellana was also one of the founding members of GATEPAC (Grupo de Artistas y Técnicos Españoles para el Progreso de l'Arquitectura Contemporánea) a Spanish branch of the CIAM (Congrès International d'Architecture Moderne).
For the B.K.F. Butterfly chair Bonet, Kurchan and Ferrari Hardoy took inspiration from the Tripolina, a folding camp chair made for use by the military. In 1881 the British inventor Joseph B. Fenby had patented his design of the chair. From 1941 to 1948 the chair was produced by Artek-Pascoe, a company founded by Aino and Alvar Aalto in an effort to establish themselves in the USA. During the late 1940’s the American Knoll Associates took over the American copyright for the B.K.F. chair. After losing a copyright infringement lawsuit the design was to be copied by a plethora of firms. In Sweden the B.K.F. Butterfly chair was produced by the NK workshops. During the 1950’s the chair was one of the most widespread chairs in the world.
The first two B.K.F. chairs to come to the USA went to Fallingwater, Edgar Kaufmann Jr.'s home in Pennsylvania (designed by family friend Frank Lloyd Wright), and to the MoMA in New York.
Bonet ran his own architectural and design studio in Barcelona from 1971 to 1975. He passed away at the age of 76.