B&B Italia redefines furniture

IT was 1969. Against the backdrop of anti-war movements, the sexual revolution, and the rise of feminism, maverick Italian designer Gaetano Pesce unveiled the “UP” series of anthropomorphic chairs, a collaboration with Italian furniture maker C&B Italia (later renamed B&B Italia). Of the series, the UP5 was the most notorious: a chair mirroring a female figure tied to a ball-shaped ottoman symbolising the “shackles that keep women subjugated”.

Dubbed “transformation” furniture by Pesce, figuratively and literally, the chair is moulded out of polyurethane foam, compressed under a vacuum until it is flat and packaged in a PVC envelope. When unwrapped, it expands slowly into its curvy shape. Due to popular demand, the UP collection was re-released in 2000 and renamed Serie UP 2000, though the UP5 is no longer flat-packed.

It is B&B Italia’s propensity for such revolutionary technology and distinct design language that makes it one of the top-flight design brands coming out of Italy today.

Noted for its quality, refined furniture with pared-down aesthetics, B&B Italia produces bestsellers like the lean, elegant Charles sofa by influential architect-designer Antonio Citterio and the Grande Papilio armchair by Naoto Fukasawa, the high priest of quiet, ostensibly simple-looking designs.

B&B Italia redefines furniture http://ow.ly/gaU55

Launched in 1997, the iconic Charles sofa by Antonio Citterio is still one of B&B Italia’s bestsellers and best exemplifies the company’s design language.

Launched in 1997, the iconic Charles sofa by Antonio Citterio is still one of B&B Italia’s bestsellers and best exemplifies the company’s design language.

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