Key facts

Product:
Camaleonda
Family:
Camaleonda
Manufacturer:
B&B Italia >
Designer:
Mario Bellini >
Architonic ID:
20132299
Country:
Italy
Launched:
2020
Manufacturer groups :
Seating-Sofas >
Seating-Seating islands >
Groups:
Seating-Sofas >
Seating-Seating islands >

Product family

Concept

The system designed in 1970, makes its comeback 50 years later, speaking a contemporary language, between structural solutions and sustainable choices.

The history: 50 years that have not gone by
Presented to the public in 1970, Camaleonda has passed through 5 decades of design history as a true icon. Designed by Mario Bellini, this modular sofa has defined the aesthetics of an entire era of interior design, thanks to its great success both in terms of the public and critics. It is constantly featured in most international design museums and in the film-sets that have defined the collective imagination. An object that is loved by design aficionados, antique dealers and interior decorators alike is finally back in production after a careful design process that involved the close collaboration between the B&B Italia’s Research & Development Centre and Mario Bellini.

Mario Bellini’s work is characterized by bringing together design and architecture and Camaleonda testifies to his unique ability to move confidently between diverse design languages, between macro and micro, geometry and curves, artificial and natural materials. As Bellini himself says, Camaleonda was created to fill a void: “At the beginning of the 1970s, upholstered furniture for the home had stagnated into the tired traditional stereotypes and radical-provocative elitist forays into the future that, although stimulating, rarely challenged the relationship between the evolution of new patterns of behaviour in the home and the types of furniture available on the market at the time.”

With Camaleonda we find ourselves in the presence of a sofa intended as an architectural element, capable of transforming the landscape of the interior space that it inhabits. A landscape that is neither immobile nor permanent, as its chameleon-like nature involves change and transformation. A promise that is clear from the name itself, as Bellini recalls: “Camaleonda is a name that I invented in 1970 by mixing two words: the first is the name of an extraordinary animal, the chameleon (camaleonte in Italian), that can adapt to the environment around it and the word ‘onda’, wave, that indicates the curve of the sea and the desert. Both these words describe the shape and function of this sofa.” Camaleonda continues to live on thanks to an identity that has become an evergreen iconic vintage, current for each generation precisely because of its timeless qualities.

The present: a contemporary reissue
In its reissue, Camaleonda preserves the elements that have made it a contemporary classic. By mutual agreement, Mario Bellini and B&B Italia have decided to keep the 90x90 cm seat module, together with the backrest and the armrest, faithful to the original project, whose original cutting pattern was used for the new edition.

The generous polyurethane padding that forms the characteristic capitonné design remains unchanged, still manufactured with the innovative system of cables, hooks and rings created by Bellini in 1970, which defines the characteristic look and
modularity. Thanks to the tie-rods and the rings, in fact, the modules can be unhooked and recombined at will, allowing the sofa to adapt to an evolving taste and the dynamic needs of those using it.

The fundamental characteristic of Camaleonda is its unlimited modularity, a geometric pattern that allows each element to become a sort of enormous pixel through which to define your home environment. By hooking and unhooking seats, backrests and armrests, you can enjoy the luxury of changing your mind as many times as you desire, moving and redesigning the space. A concept which is dear to Mario Bellini: “Of all the objects I have designed, Camaleonda is perhaps the best in terms of its sense of freedom. There are infinite number of possible configurations.”

The padding has been thoroughly updated by the B&B Italia’s Research & Development Centre, making it even more comfortable than the original version. Thus the magical balance between the rigorous geometry of the square and the welcoming roundness of the padding is confirmed, further underlining the elasticity and tactile ergonomics that characterize many of Mario Bellini’s design projects. Camaleonda can be upholstered with B&B Italia’s entire textile and leather collection, allowing for another variable in the multitude of possible combinations.

Camaleonda is a dynamic, alive and sincere object, not at all enigmatic, that allows for an infinite number of configurations while still maintaining its peculiar and unique identity.

The future: sustainability and circularity
The re-edition of the Camaleonda does not look back to the past, but on the contrary it aims to rewrite an indisputable classic in a contemporary perspective.

Aesthetics, dimensions, proportions and the way it is configured remain unchanged, while the composition of the interior has been completely redesigned with no room for nostalgia. “When I was asked to update Camaleonda - Mario Bellini declares - it was immediately clear to me that I should never or would never be able to do anything. Change the shape? No, the way it was intended is as good today as it was then. Change the materials? Yes, and that’s why I had a conversation with a company that is a leader in terms of its ability to transform a piece of furniture into a sustainable product.”

The “sandwich” structure of Camaleonda is made up of recycled or recyclable materials that can be easily disassembled. The seat, backrest and armrests and bases are made of wooden panels. The sofa rests on the floor on a series of spherical feet made of FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified beech wood.

The padding of the seat, the backrests and the armrests are made of polyurethane in various levels of density and firmness. The highest degree of complexity lies in the seat, where elements are shaped and assembled to allow every layer to interact, at the same time guaranteeing a high level of comfort. The various layers generate empty spaces or pockets designed to create a comfortable spring effect. The engineering and composition of the seat allows the interior elements of the sofa to be disassembled and therefore easily recyclable.

The padding is protected by a removable cover made of dacron, a synthetic fabric that is entirely made of recycled PET, the same material used to manufacture plastic water bottles.

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A star is reborn: B&B Italia's Camaleonda sofa ...

Brand story

Simon Keane-Cowell

09.10.2020

50 years old and still got it. Celebrated Italian architect Mario Bellini's iconic Camaleonda seating system has been relaunched and there's a lot of love in the air.