Le Bambole '07
An icon of timeless contemporaneity and one of the most effective expressions of Italian excellence combining research and creative flair, Le Bambole was originally designed in the 1970s, winning the Compasso d’Oro in 1979, and has provided a very personal answer to the theme of seats, which in this case issue from a single block that contains the backrest, seat and armrest, as if ‘sculptured’ into a single material. Comfortable shapes without stiff supports, as if made entirely of fabric, in which traditional elements merge into one as established by the designer, who wanted to reproduce “a living body that is soft and safe, pleasant to touch and embrace”. What makes them special is the apparent absence of a load bearing structure, the extreme naturalness of their shape, and the combination of comfort, softness and elasticity that their appearance conveys. The original design was revised in 2007, giving the pieces of the series a slightly more slender look: Le Bambole ‘07, in the versions as an armchair (Bambola), a two-seater sofa (Bibambola) and a three-seater sofa (Tribambola), in addition to matching ottomans, were all made with removable covers.
The starting point was a shopping bag that contained formless material that was shaped when the bag was set on the ground and squashed. In the shared research undertaken by the designer and the company's internal R&D department, the Centro Ricerche & Sviluppo, the idea moved towards the shape of a cushion.
This is how Le Bambole came into being between 1970 and 1972. The series turned out to be an icon for the 1970s and won the "Compasso d'Oro" award in 1979. The search for a new shape for upholstered furniture: all of the parts are shaped like a large soft cushion. If we take apart Le Bambole, we get cushions in part, because they are a natural "free" shape, difficult to describe in a product drawing, but easy to perceive and analyse. Inside them is the "skeleton", or rather the vertical edges or elastic membranes that blend form and fabric to determine a balance between action and reaction. Le Bambole , said Bellini, “are not covered in fabric, instead they are built of fabric.”
Le Bambole never age. What makes them special is the apparent absence of a load bearing structure, the extreme naturalness of their shape, and the combination of comfort, softness and elasticity that their appearance conveys Le Bambole '07, in the versions armchair (Bambola), 2-seat sofa (Bibambola) and 3-seat sofa (Tribambola), in addition to the ottomans, were all made with removable covers.
B&B Italia opted to launch Le Bambole in an approach connected with the icon of the moment, jeans. With the precious contribution of a young Oliviero Toscani and the model Donna Jordan, the product launch was achieved with a very creative, distinctive campaign that was also a little provocative, once again breaking the sector's communication codes. The advertisement showed a topless Donna Jordan, photographed by Oliviero Toscani, as she invited the viewer to look at the product. The advert was censured immediately, and a simultaneous flow of communication began which had a very positive effect on the product's sales.
Internal frame (LB2-LB3)
tubular steel and steel profiles
Internal frame upholstery (LB2-LB3)
Bayfit® flexible cold shaped polyurethane foam, polyester fibre cover
shaped polyurethane of different density
100% jute fabric
fabric or leather in limited categories
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Mario Bellini is an architect and designer internationally renowned. He received the Golden Compass Award eight times and 25 of his works are in the permanent design collection of the New York MoMA, which dedicated to him a personal retrospective in 1987. He was editor of Domus magazine (1985-1991) and has designed countless art, design and architecture exhibitions over the years, both in Italy and abroad.
In 2015 the Milan Triennale awarded him the Gold Medal for his career in architecture and in 2017 dedicated him a retrospective exhibition which was then the subject of a world tour. Since 1980, he has mainly devoted himself to architecture with numerous prestigious creations including: the Portello Trade Fair district in Milan, the Villa Erba Exhibition and Convention Centre in Cernobbio (Como), the Tokyo Design Centre in Japan, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, the Department of Islamic Art at the Louvre in Paris, the new Milan Convention Centre, the new international Airterminal T3 in Rome Fiumicino.
Among the projects he is developing, the "Bin-County Project", a new city for entertainment, sport and culture in the Harbin area in China (2018-2023) and a large Residential Cultural and Sports Complex “Oasis” in the Gulf Area (2014-2022).