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B&B Italia, 50 years of history and beyond

| Designbest editorial staff

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&B Italia celebrates 50 years in the business and it does so in great style: book, exhibition and film. Half a century of Italian design told through anecdotes, stories and describing challenges; this interactive itinerary gives visitors an idea of the main movers and shakers at B&B Italia.

To begin with, the exhibition B&B Italia/The perfect density, designed by Migliore+Servetto Architects, illustrates the full extent of this brand. Eight vertical cages give life to a dynamic collage of images and texts, floating in mid air. What’s more, a connection can be made with a working brain, which tells us everything there is to know about B&B Italia.

Just by leafing through the pages of the book La lunga vita del design in Italia. B&B Italia 50 anni e oltre (edited by Stefano Casciani, ed. Skira), you’ll understand the past, the present and you can even imagine the future of this brand. In fact, it’s not just a mere coincidence the title talks about “50 anni e oltre” (lit. 50 years and beyond).

This book is about the innovation, technology, communication strategies and business acumen of a brand able to swim against the current, rewriting contemporary design history. Products, places and business culture merge together to form an underlying theme; this also stresses the importance the founding partner Piero Ambrogio Busnelli placed on style and design, values which were passed down to his children.

Contemporary design comes across in every single word. Throughout the years, B&B Italia has flown the flag high for futuristic creativity and design innovation. And the film is proof of this: B&B Italia. La poesia nella forma. Quando il design incontra l’industria, overseen by Didi Gnocchi and shown for the first time at the Design Film Festival, Milan. Fifty minutes to illustrate an extraordinary 50-year long adventure. This film is narrated by Giorgio Busnelli, Piero Ambrogio’s son and by some of the designers, who have worked with the brand: Antonio Citterio, Gaetano Pesce, Renzo Piano, Patricia Urquiola and Vincent van Duysen.

Furthermore, we are certain you’ll be as ecstatic as we are to celebrate the first fifty years of B&B Italia, already thinking of what the future has in stall.


Where: Impluvium, Triennale Design Museum, 6 viale Alemagna, Milan, Italy

When: ongoing - 17 April 2016

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