Jorge Ferrari Hardoy studied architecture at the Unversidad de Buenos Aires from where he graduated in 1939. In the year prior to this, and together with Juan Kurchan, Ferrari Hardoy worked in the Paris studio of Le Corbusier where they met the Spanish architect Antonio Bonet. At Le Corbusier, Ferrari Hardoy worked on a city plan for Buenos Aires.
In 1938 Ferrari Hardoy, Kurchan and Bonet founded the influential modern architectural practice Grupo Austral. In the following year the group released a publication in which they set up principles, adapting Le Corbusier’s concept on Argentine conditions. During the early 1940’s Ferrari Hardoy worked together with Kurchan on architecture, mainly in Buenos Aires based on these principles. In 1944, Ferrari Hardoy and Kurchan were involved in the rebuilding of the city of San Juan after the earthquake of 1944.
As a furniture designer Ferrari Hardoy is most known for the BKF Butterfly chair that he designed together with Bonet and Kurchan in 1938. (BKF stands for Bonet, Kurchan and Ferrari Hardoy) The BKF Butterfly chair is a leather sling chair where Bonet, Kurchan and 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. After losing a copyright infringement lawsuit the design was to be copied by a plethora of firms. In Sweden the BKF 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 BKF 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.