B&B Italia’s Camaleonda System Celebrates 50 Years With a Reissue
“At the beginning of the 1970s, upholstered furniture for the home had stagnated into tired traditional stereotypes and radical-provocative elitist forays,” Mario Bellini recalls. With Camaleonda—a portmanteau of camaleonte (chameleon) and onda (wave)—the designer achieved the novel idea of modularity via an innovative system of cables, hooks, and chromed-brass rings used to adjoin seats with back- and armrests. For the design’s 50th anniversary reissue, B&B Italia preserves the dimensions and proportions that made it a classic, using original cutting patterns, but updated the padding to make it even comfier and more sustainable. When approached to embark on the update, Bellini had strong opinions: “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.” Hear, hear.