The Canasta small tables for outdoor use can be used on their own or to complement the family of chairs and tables of the same name. They come in two very different versions: the first, a decorative model in three sizes featuring a tray top in painted steel, stands out for its soft shapes and large weave of polyethylene fibre bands; the second, more minimalist and geometric and available in two sizes, has a powder-painted steel frame and tops in porcelain stoneware featuring refined black and white graphic designs.
This was the first time that Patricia decided to design an ultra-decorative, handmade collection (“it takes four hours for two craftsmen to put the interlacing on the structure.”). It is (apparently) in contrast with the other B&B Italia products, which are strongly recognised for being pure examples of industrial design.
The inspiration? A wicker basket in the Far East: Patricia Urquiola started working on the weave of Canasta (basket in Spanish) while out in the Far East. To find the perfect weave, the designer reinterpreted the traditional design of the octagonal holes in Viennese cane, mixed two patterns to transform the product into the macro-pattern of Canasta and create a series of outdoor sofas that look classic but have contemporary adaptability. In fact, the play between classic and contemporary is not a new idea: the Viennese cane inspiration is retro, and the polyethylene texture speaks today’s language.
Patricia explains: “For me, Canasta is the image of a pattern. It doesn’t want to imitate nature. Even though a sort of crystallised natural pattern shows up in the tiles decorating the tables and accessories. Moreover, I designed enveloping shapes that give the idea of protection. And I studied new forms of ergonomics to satisfy every moment of a day spent outdoors.”
The result is a series of poetic but current objects: armchairs, sofas, round sofas, chairs, tables and complements that have become iconic pieces of contemporary design.
aluminium or steel with polyester powder painting
tiles in porcelain stoneware
Service element tray (PCN60-PCN80-PCN110)
steel sheet with polyester powder painting
Waterproof cover cloth
PES fabric coated on one side in PU
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Patricia Urquiola studied architecture and design at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and completed her studies at the Politecnico di Milano where she graduated under the mentorship of Achille Castiglioni. In Spain, she was awarded the Golden Medal for Merits in Art and received the Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic.
In 2001 she founded her own studio where she specialised in industrial product design, architecture (hotel trade, retail, homes, exhibitions and installations), art direction and strategy consulting. She works with important design companies and international groups, and is part of the advisory board of the Politecnico of Milan university and the Triennale Milano Design Museum. She taught the master’s degree in Interior Design at the Domus Academy in Milan (2013-2015) and has given lectures at prestigious international universities.
She has also given talks at countless cultural events and her work is exhibited in many art and design museums across the world, including the MOMA in New York, the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, the Triennale Museum in Milan, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, to name a few. She has been named Designer of the Year by many international magazines.