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DESIGN

Mandarina Duck loves: Italian Design Icons

Last week, the annual Salone del Mobile was in full swing again.

As per usual, the respected furniture and interior design fair hosts the world’s most iconic design companies as well as the world’s most novel and innovative designers in the Italian city that has long been a design capital: Milan.

Mandarina Duck looks back on a trailblazer who designed the iconic  ‘Up’ chair, Gaetano Pesce, an Italian architect and who realized buildings around the world – even in Osaka, Japan, where he constructed the ‘Organic Building’.

His style combines playful, colourful elements with surprising shapes that in their time were seen as unconventional. The ‘Up’ chair, designed in 1969, and produced by B&B Italia, reminds us of a woman, a mother, who invites us to sit or snuggle in her lap.

Together with the ball, an Ottoman, the chair is superbly comfortable, but also transmits a political message.

Pesce describes his aim in his own words: “ I told a personal story of my concept of women. Despite themselves, women have always been prisoners of the prejudice and fears of men. Along these lines, I liked the idea of giving this armchair a feminine shape with a ball and chain, the traditional image of the prisoner.”