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Serie Up 2000

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Serie Up 2000

Gaetano Pesce

Armchairs

Description

Designed in 1969, right from the onset the Up series has been one of the most outstanding expressions of design with its expressive shapes upholstered with elastic fabric. This innovative solution, poised midway between design and art, and conceived to be offered to a wide audience, stems from B&B Italia’s extensive technological know-how in terms of polyurethane injection moulding. Particularly noteworthy among the armchairs is the iconic UP5_6, with its unmistakeable anthropomorphic references: a metaphor of a large womb, it calls to mind ancient statues of the goddesses of fertility. But that’s not all: a spherical ottoman tied to the armchair contrasts the image of comfort and convenience with a more figurative one of a woman with a ball and chain tied to her foot. Gaetano Pesce described the project as follows: “At that time, I was seeking to tell a personal story about my concept of women: I believe that women have always unwittingly been their own jailer. This is why I decided to give this armchair the shape of a woman with a ball and chain, reflecting the traditional image of a prisoner”. This armchair also comes in a junior version for kids aged 3 and up – a perfectly faithful replica of the original design, only smaller. The series also includes the UP7 “foot”, a large sculptural object in painted polyurethane that poses as an archaeological relic of the modern era.

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Concept

The configuration of this armchair has anatomical characteristics and unmistakable anthropomorphous references. The chair is a metaphor of a large comfortable womb and recalls ancient statues of fertility goddesses.  However, it has something extra: a spherical ottoman tied to the armchair. Therefore, the image of comfort and convenience is combined with a more figurative image of a woman with a ball and chain on her foot. Gaetano Pesce explains the project as follows: "At that time, I was telling a personal story about my concept of women: I believe that women have always been unwilling prisoners of themselves. This is why I decided to give this armchair the shape of a woman with a ball and chain, a traditional image of a prisoner." 

Over the years, the UP5_6 armchair has become an international icon with different names, from "Big Mama" to "Blow Up". It is still a very popular item.

Technical information

Upholstery
Bayfit® flexible cold shaped polyurethane foam

Bottom base
100% jute fabric, PVC trimming

Cover button
metallic base and fabric

Bottom base
button thick leather

Cord (UP5_6)
100% nylon

Finish (UP7)
polyurethane

Cover
fabric in limited categories

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Designer

Gaetano Pesce

Gaetano Pesce, architect, artist and designer, in forty years of career has carried out public and private projects in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia in the fields of architecture, urban planning, interior design, industrial and exhibition design, driven by a constant tension towards innovation and experimentation.

Born in La Spezia in 1939, Pesce studied architecture at the University of Venice and wrote a manifesto in his youth in defense of the right to inconsistency in art, the need to change, to be free, not to repeat ourselves. The boundaries between art, design and industry become irrelevant in his production, because even art is a product, it is the creative response to the needs of the time in which we live. His continuous research in the field of advanced materials, languages ​​and technology has resulted in iconic productions such as the Up series (1969), composed of seven examples of seats with voluptuous shapes, including the Up5_6 armchair, the first product of industrial design called to convey a political message, to denounce the condition of women in the world.

Pesce's multidisciplinary work is represented in the permanent collections of the most important museums in the world including the MoMa and the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Center Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Vitra Museum in Germany and the Montreal Museum of Art, to name a few. His approach to design has marked its history and his works have been celebrated in exhibitions of extraordinary importance. Numerous companies produce his projects.

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