Pushing the Boundaries: The Designers Behind B&B Italia

Working with some of the most celebrated designers of the 20th and 21st centuries, B&B Italia’s creative collaborations have resulted in a portfolio of iconic furniture collections intended to withstand the test of time. Far-reaching in their inspirations, guided by the inhouse R&D Centre, B&B Italia designers dare to experiment with materials both old and new, combining traditional craftsmanship with industrial know-how and modern technology to produce pieces that are not just functional but are also works of art that push the boundaries of design. 

Piero Lissoni, B&B Italia Art Director

Piero Lissoni, B&B Italia Art Director

Piero Lissoni

Long regarded as one of the most influential figures in the world of modern design, Piero Lissoni is B&B Italia’s Artistic Director. He began to envision architecture and design as one holistic discipline after his years of studying with design masters Achille Castiglioni and Marco Zanuso at the Polytechnic University of Milan in the 1970s. That early mentorship would define his unwavering modern and humanistic approach, leading him to create a portfolio of work, like Spool for B&B Italia, designed to develop a sense of calm while carefully blending the history of each object he creates with the technology and craftsmanship of the day.

Perpetuating a visual aesthetic that’s clean, subtle and perfect in proportion, Lissoni’s signature of elegance and sophistication is instantly recognizable in his designs that balance form and function with unexpected materials and finishes, all standing as a testament to his mastery of the craft.  

Spool Side Table for Piero Lissoni by B&B Italia

Spool Side Table by Piero Lissoni for B&B Italia

Le Bambole Lounge Chair by Mario Bellini for B&B Italia

Le Bambole Lounge Chair by Mario Bellini for B&B Italia

Mario Bellini

A revolutionary Renaissance man, Mario Bellini cannot be confined to a single title. The curator, editor, professor, designer and architect can’t be confined to a single discipline either: Since the beginning of his career in 1959, the Milan-born artist has designed everything from typewriters to film cameras, stereo systems, an experimental concept car made of glass and intended for living (Kar-a-Sutra, 1972), convention centers, and of course, his industry-defining furniture collections for B&B Italia, including Camaleonda and Le Bambole.


With more than 25 of his designs residing in the New York Museum of Modern Art, in addition to the museum’s 1987 Bellini-dedicated retrospective, and eight Compasso D’Oro awards, Bellini is revered for his inventive uses of upholstered materials that redefined the craft of furniture-making and his visionary blending of organic aesthetics with contemporary Italian design and culture.

Interview with Mario Bellini in 2020, courtesy of B&B Italia

Antonio Citterio

Furniture and industrial designer, architect and Creative Director for B&B Italia’s sister brands, Maxalto and Arclinea, Antonio Citterio started out an ambitious man. Three years before graduating from the Polytechnic University of Milan, Citterio opened his own studio where he began producing functional, user-friendly furniture designs heavily influenced by the design philosophy of the Bauhaus movement and American designers like Ray and Charles Eames.

With a keen eye for detail and a desire to create pieces that were both purposeful and elegant, Citterio went on to design iconic works for international brands, including the Charles sofa for B&B Italia, a bestseller for over 20 years.  Citterio’s dedication to sophisticated functionality and industry innovation has earned him two Compasso d’Oro awards, as well as a place in the permanent collections of New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

B&B Italia Designer Antonio Citterio

B&B Italia Showroom Designer and Creative Director of Maxalto, Antonio Citterio

With a keen eye for detail and a desire to create pieces that were both purposeful and elegant, Citterio went on to design iconic works for brands like FLOS, Kartell, Vitra and B&B Italia, where his Charles sofa has been a bestseller for over 20 years, in addition to designing the B&B Italia showrooms in Milan, New York and Novedrate. An expert in working with wood, metal and upholstery to create streamlined, minimalistic designs, Citterio’s dedication to sophisticated functionality and industry innovation has earned him two Compasso d’Oro awards, as well as a place in the permanent collections of New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
Charles Sofa by Antonio Citterio for B&B Italia

Charles Sofa by Antonio Citterio for B&B Italia

B&B Italia Designer Patricia Urquiola

Patricia Urquiola, Designer of Tufty-Time and Husk

Patricia Urquiola

With every intention to pursue architecture as her sole discipline, Patricia Urquiola’s early academic meeting of the minds with Achille Castiglioni changed the course of her future—and changed the face of the design industry. Now one of the most prolific designers of the day, Urquiola centers the human experience, a willingness to experiment and expert craftsmanship in her design practice. “Design objects can be tools to provoke existential awareness,” she recently reflected in the Women in Design Summit, hosted by Lumens.

Urquiola’s diverse portfolio stands as a testament to the designer’s brilliantly complex and empathetic mind. Whether creating imaginative lighting designs, dimensionally pristine pieces of furniture—like Tufty-Time and the Husk Collection, both produced for B&B Italia—or a richly detailed textile, Urquiola begins each project with the same question her mentor, Castiglioni, would ask: How will people and spaces interact with this thing I am creating?  

Husk Low Armchair & Fat-Fat Tray by Patricia Urquiola for B&B Italia

Husk Swivel Lounge Chair by Patricia Urquiola for B&B Italia

B&B Italia Tufty Time Right Sectional Sofa & Fat-Fat Coffee Table by Patricia Urquiola for B&B Italia

Tufty-Time Sofa by Patricia Urquiola for B&B Italia

B&B Italia Designer Gaetano Pesce 

Gaetano Pesce, Designer of Serie UP Armchair + Ottoman

Gaetano Pesce

Interested in exploring the relationship between form and function, Gaetano Pesce takes objects of the everyday and turns them extraordinary. From vases dripping in resin goop and smiley faces painted on the backrests of dining chairs to the cultural commentary on womanhood with his bestselling B&B Italia design, the UP5_6 Armchair + Ottoman, part of the Up Series, Pesce contemplates the modern era through disrupting conventional design.

Working in the heyday of industrial innovation, Pesce took on experimental new materials like polyurethane foam and resin to produce his visionary, daring works that now reside in over 30 museums around the globe. Considering art both a product and a creative response to the times we live in, Pesce’s insatiable curiosity for information—and interpreting that information through design—has made him one of the most wildly experimental (and successful) designers of the last century. 

Serie UP Armchair and Ottoman by Gaetano Pesce for B&B Italia

Embodying the spirit of innovation, designers for B&B Italia have boldly taken up the challenges of exploring new materials and experimenting with unconventional forms to create a collection that redefines the craft of furniture design. From Camaleonda to Tufty-Time, Serie UP to Spool, the vibrant pieces that compose the Italian brand’s portfolio function as a reflection of each designer’s singular vision and creativity, shining a very bright spotlight on B&B Italia’s commitment to quality and ingenuity.

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