B&B Italia

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(established 1974)

Originally launched in 1966 as C&B Italia by Cesare Cassina and Pietro Busnelli this Italian firm's work specialized in Polyurethane furniture, for which it soon established a reputation as an innovator. This was sustained by the establishment in 1968 of a research centre under architect and furniture designer Francesco Binfaré. C&B Italia commissioned many leading Italian designers to explore the exciting possibilities of this new medium, including Mario Bellini, who contributed the Amanta chair in 1966, and Gaetano Pesce, who designed the Up chair in 1970. However, the company's success was such that Cesare Cassina withdrew on account of the strong competition it afforded his own Cassina furniture manufacturing company. Since its retitling as B&B Italia in 1974, the company has continued to innovate in design and materials, particularly its main outputs in polyurethane furniture. Leading designers working for the company have included Afra and Tobia Scarpa (whose designs included the Artone chair of 1985), Vico Magistretti (whose work included the Quartetto and Sestetto tables of 1974), Antonio Citterio (whose output included the Sity sofa of 1980), and Paola Nava (whose designs included the Baia sofa of 1977).

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.

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