In 2016 the Italian furniture house B&B Italia turns 50 which in many ways seems young.
Certainly the group's passion for innovation and design has been consistent from the start when Piero Busnelli launched the brand and changed the direction of Italian design forever.
That approach has developed over the five decades, blending the traditional craftsmanship of regional Italy with the latest technologies and techniques.
It's a fascinating story and more space will begin a series of profiles and interviews in early 2016 – for now here is a short of the film B&B Italia commissioned to tell their story.
The story of Mart can be traced back to the 1960s and a time of huge social change. For the founder of B&B Italia, Piero Ambrogio Busnelli, that meant looking for ideas in sometimes unexpected places. A chance encounter with a rubber duck manufacturer in the UK became the catalyst for a new way to make sofas, and continues to underpin the furniture group’s philosophy for innovation and collaboration.
Late last year B&B Italia announced the re-edition of 20 products designed by Luigi Caccia Dominioni, one of Italy’s most admired designers and architects whose love of the Baroque movement’s expressive forms and beautiful details quietly shaped apartment buildings, theatres and public spaces in Milan during the post-WWII period. The addition of this historic collection marks another step by B&B Italia to preserve Italy’s rich design heritage.
Designer and architect Piero Lissoni has studios in Milan and New York and has established a practice that weaves between the design of buildings, furniture, exhibitions, graphics and art direction. It is a studio that is grounded in the traditions of Italian design fluidity producing some of the most interesting installations and furniture collections at Milan Design Week.
From a technology collaboration between Philippe Starck, Kartell and Autodesk, to installations and new products made of bioplastic, this year furniture collections were peppered with new thinking and manufacturing processes. While it was also another year of looking back through the design archives. With the help of the Space team, here more space reviews the highlights, design directions and best new releases from the world’s biggest design event of the year – Milan Design Week!
It’s day two of exhibitions, talks, launches, parties and installations in some of Milan’s most private and public spaces, earning Milan Design Week its pole position as design leader. B&B Italia is celebrating the 50th birthday of the groundbreaking UP 5&6 armchair designed by Gaetano Pesce in 1969; Glas Italia has released designs in iridescent colour and fluid form, and GTV has collaborated with Michael Anastassiades who plays with the traditions of wood.
Describing his work as "minimal, utilitarian and almost mundane, yet full of unexpected vitality”, designer Michael Anastassiades designs products, furniture and lighting that strikes a balance between art and the practicalities of function, while bringing a certain magic to each design.
Design takes centre stage in a short film created by Italian furniture brand B&B Italia in collaboration with OffiCine and Elle Decor Italia. Inside a classic Milanese apartment, life unfolds around the Atoll sofa designed by Antonio Citterio. and an elegant set created by Studio Silenzi.
Designers Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien recently launched Bay, an outdoor seating collection that explores the traditions of weaving, and craftsmanship, and continues the duo’s collaboration with B&B Italia that began with the Almora chair four years ago.
Featuring new designs fresh from Milan Design Week, Space Furniture launches the iconic B&B Italia collection with a series of new look interiors that explore the creative collaboration between the two groups which began over 30 years ago.
While the Venice Architecture Biennale is in full swing, more space goes inside the 16th century Palazzo Papadopoli now home to the Aman Grand Canal Hotel. Originally designed n 1570 the latest intervention by Jean-Michel Gathy embraces the palace’s opulent history, layering it with a curated collection of contemporary design.