To celebrate their first 20 years, the team at Space Furniture selected the 20 designs that are iconic to them – a hard task but an interesting one. more space took a look at the list and a few of the stories behind the designers, manufacturers and designs... 1 .UP5 & UP6 by Gaetano Pesce for B&B Italia, 1969
Pushing the material innovation threshold, UP5 was designed by Gaetano Pesce and originally made of air sensitive foam developed in a collaboration between B&B Italia and Bayer. The chair arrived flat in a box and when the packaging seal was broken slowly 'inflated'. Launched in 1969, the year of the moon landing, not surprisingly it was a huge hit.
2. Crinoline Highback by Patricia Urquiola for B&B Italia, 2008
The process of making is central to the work of Spanish-born, Milan-based designer Patricia Urquiola. For the woven Crinoline collection developed for B&B Italia, she headed to the Philippines to learn the traditional weaving techniques of the locals. These skills were then translated into a production process by the R&D department – a great example of a traditional craft being kept alive by technology.
3. Seven Table by Jean-Marie Massaud for B&B Italia, 2008
Seven is designed to seat seven people and inspired by nature, Jean-Marie Massaud has created a play on numbers – 3 + 3 + 2, 6 + 1, 4 + 2 + 1 – allowing the interplay of seats to encourage the interplay of diners.
4. Cab Chair by Mario Bellini for Cassina, 1977
One of the most iconic chairs today, Cab is the simplest of forms designed by architect Mario Bellini who is all about the material. A steel structure wrapped in leather with almost no detailing at all beyond stitched edges. Completely elegant.
5. Favela by Fernando and Humberto Campana for Edra, 2003
A chair that developed out of a problem. The Favela was originally made of timber offcuts from the furniture industry in Brazil by workers who were in need of a job – so brothers Fernando and Humberto Campana designed the socially conscious Favela chair that solved two issues with one chair. It is now one of their best designs made by Italian manufacturer Edra and collected by museums around the world.
6. Caadre Mirror by Philippe Starck for Fiam Italia, 1996
For 40 years Fiam Italia has been mixing traditional skills in glass craftsmanship with high technology. A mirror within a mirror, the Caadre is both big in scale and innovation. Its two-way bent glass frame is a contemporary counterpoint to traditional mirrors.
7. Luminator Floor Lamp by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni for Flos, 1954
With the Luminator Floor Lamp it's all about the globe which is central to the lamp's design. brothers Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni released the lamp with Flos in 1955 followed by Bulb in 1957. Both lamps were part of the important "Shapes and Colours in Today's Home" exhibition at Villa Olmo in Como in 1957.
8. Twiggy Floor Lamp by Marc Sadler for Foscarini, 2006
Inspired by a fisherman's rod the Twiggy Floor Lamp has the flexibility of bamboo. The lamp's base is key to the design. The heavy disk supports the lamp and the 'cane' to create the counterbalance to its movement.
9. XXX Low Table by Joanna Grawunder for Glas Italia, 2009
Glas Italia is famous for their innovation with glass, in particular coloured glass. The XXX table collection by Joanna Grawunder uses shadow, light and a spectrum of colours in yellow, orange, red and pink to create one of the most startlingly beautiful pieces.
10. Campari pendant light by Raffaele Celentano for Ingo Maurer, 2002
The Campari Soda bottle was designed by Fortunato Depero in 1932 and is considered the first premix drink in the world. Seventy years later designer Raffaele Celentano collaborated with Ingo Maurer to create the Campari lamp, the first ever lamp made from drink bottles.
11. Louis Ghost Chair by Philippe Starck for Kartell, 2002
The design of Louis Ghost lead to the development of the world's first transparent polycarbonate, and since 2002 Louis Ghost has sold more than 1.5 million pieces making it the most popular design original in the world.
12. Componibili by Anna Castelli Ferrier for Kartell, 1969
Anna Castelli Ferrieri was the first woman to graduates in architecture from the Milan Polytechnic. In 1949 she and her husband founded Kartell and she became the group's art director in 1976. The Componibili remains one of their best sellers.
13. Masters Chair by Philippe Starck for Kartell, 2010
Inspired by the Modernist masters Arne Jacobsen, Ray and Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen, Masters pays homage to three iconic chairs: Series 7, Tulip and Eiffel. Not unlike the historical approach of the Louis Ghost collection, here Philippe Starck reminds us of the past.
14. Frog Chair by Piero Lissoni for Living Divani, 1996
A nod to the 1950s armchair, Frog is contemporary take on the popular reclining chair – this time lower and far more pared back.
15. Smoke Chair by Maarten Baas for Moooi, 2002
Maarten Baas is fascinated by the power of the flame and the ability to transform furniture by scorching it. He created the first Smoke series in 2002 for Dutch manufacturer Moooi, and in 2004 Baas collaborated on a series called "Where There's Smoke There's…". Here design classics by Rietveld, Eames and Gaudi are 're-crafted' to create one-offs that embody the past but are changed forever.
16. Raimond Light by Raimond Puts for Moooi, 2006
A self-taught designer who didn't start designing until he was 65, Raimond Puts had a fascination with maths which lead him to create the Raimond Light using a clever mathematical formula and hundreds of tiny LED lights. “I’m self-taught. I’ve always loved working with machines, either fixing or designing new ones. As a rule, I always try to include something extra, even if it is something quite utilitarian,” says Puts.
17. Vas-One by Luisa Bocchietto for Serrulunga, 2002
The giant Vas-One collection forms part of Serralunga's interest in plastic innovation. Working with a host of adventurous designers – Luisa Bocchietto, Zaha Hadid, Ross Lovegrove, Ettorre Sottsass Jnr – and injection moulded plastics, Serralunga likes to mix materials in complex ways – plastic/metal, plastic/LEDs – to create some very surprising outcomes.
18. Grand Repos by Antonio Citterio for Vitra, 2011
19. Mezzadro by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni for Zanotta, 1957
Inspired by industrial parts – the ubiquitous tractor seat – Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni created a hybrid with the Mezzadro stool. All of their work was defined by an interest in objects and how they work. Taking 'off the shelf' materials was central to the process and also fundamental to the way they saw design – functional, playful, fun.
20. Sciangai by Jonathan De Pas, Donato D’Urbino, Paolo Lomazzi for Zanotta, 1973
Translated as 'pick up sticks', Sciangai was designed by three architects who were at the forefront of the new wave of experimental design in the 1960s and 70s. They were also responsible for the Blow armchair, also made by Italian manufacturer Zanotta, which was one of the first fully inflatable armchairs and, like a bicycle, it came with a its own repair kit.