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“Camaleonda” Modular Sofa in 4 Segments by Mario Bellini for B&B, Italy, 1971

$28,000

About

The “Camaleonda” (Chameleon) sofa is Mario Bellini’s contemporary classic. The playful, modular design offers endless options for the user, which also inspired the model’s name. Camaleonda has passed through 5 decades of design history as a true icon. The modules of the sofa defined the aesthetics of an entire era of interior design, and are constantly featured in most international design. The elements that have made this sofa a contemporary classic are the individual modules, their original cutting patterns and the polyurethane padding that forms the characteristic capitonné (a style of upholstery in which the material is drawn in at intervals) design. The four separate segments of this “Camaleonda” were manufactured with the innovative system of cables, hooks and rings created by Bellini in 1970, which defines the characteristic look and modularity. The fundamental characteristic of Camaleonda is its unlimited modularity, a geometric pattern that allows each element to become an enormous pixel through which to define your home environment. The four modules’ versatility and the attached tie-rods and rings make it possible to create custom forms. Furthermore, the modules can be unhooked and recombined at will, allowing the sofa to adapt to an evolving taste and needs. A concept which is dear to Mario Bellini: “Of all the objects I have designed, Camaleonda is perhaps the best in terms of its sense of freedom. There are infinite numbers of possible configurations.” Condition: In good vintage condition. Wear consistent with age and use. The four pieces have all been reupholstered in a premium bouclé fabric. Dimensions: Big segment: 37.40 in W x 37.40 in D x 27.55 in H (with back) 95 cm W x 95 cm D x 70 cm H (with back) Small segment: 25.59 in W x 37.40 in D x 27.55 in H (with back) 65 cm W x 95 cm D x 70 cm H (with back) Literature: Domus n. 523, giugno 1973, pubblicità; G. Gramigna, Repertorio del design italiano 1950 - 1980, Milano 1985, p. 341. About the designer: Mario Bellini (born February 1, 1935, Milan) is an internationally renowned Italian architect and designer. He received the Golden Compass Award eight times and the Medaglia d’Oro, that was conferred on him by the President of the Italian Republic. The MoMA in New York already dedicated a personal retrospective exhibition to him in 1987. At the time the museum already included 25 of his works in its permanent collection, including a remarkable set of Olivetti machines as well as the furniture for B&B and Cassina. He graduated from the Milan Polytechnic - Faculty of Architecture in 1959 and began working as an architect himself in the early 1960s. Like many other Italian architects, his activities range from architecture and urban planning to product and furniture design. His career as a product and furniture designer began in 1963, and from 1963-1991 he was chief design consultant for Olivetti. For many years he designed furnishing products and systems for B&B Italia and Cassina, TV sets for Brionvega, and hi-fi systems, headphones and electric organs for Yamaha. Bellini was also the editor of Domus magazine between 1985 and 1991. Since the 1980s, Bellini has been dedicating himself to architecture almost exclusively, designing a wide range of buildings all around the world, including the Portello Trade Fair district in Milan, the Tokyo Design Centre in Japan, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, the Deutsche Bank Headquarters in Frankfurt, and the Department of Islamic Art at the Louvre in Paris to just name a few. In 2015 the Milan Triennale awarded him the Gold Medal for his career in architecture and in 2017 dedicated a retrospective exhibition to him. Contemporary Italian design has been synonymous with Mario Bellini’s name ever since the 1960s. ~H. Shipping: This "Camaleonda" sofa will be packed and shipped with the greatest care to make sure you will receive the item in gallery condition. Complimentary shipping within the Netherlands.

Details

  • Creator
    Mario Bellini (Designer)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 27.56 in. (70 cm)Width: 100.4 in. (255 cm)Depth: 74.81 in. (190 cm)
  • Style
    Mid-Century Modern (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    1971
  • Condition
    Reupholstered. Wear consistent with age and use. The four pieces have all been reupholstered in a premium bouclé fabric.
  • Seller Location
    Utrecht, NL
  • Reference Number
    Seller: 20200385 (same as 7 segment)1stDibs: LU2947321670442

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Customs Duties & Taxes May Apply.
    Ships From: Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 7 days of delivery.

1stDibs Buyer Protection Guaranteed
If your item arrives not as described, we’ll work with you and the seller to make it right. Learn more

About Mario Bellini (Designer)

Milan-born architect and designer Mario Bellini just may be the closest thing to a modern-day Renaissance man: His creative output spans genres, from electronics to furniture to architecture to cars, comprising iconic designs in each. He has been the recipient of multiple prestigious Compasso d’Oro design awards, and more than 20 of his works are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.


Born in 1935, Bellini studied architecture at the Polytechnic University of Milan before founding his own firm in his native city in the early 1960s. He soon branched out beyond architecture, however, first for the tech manufacturer Olivetti, where he served as chief industrial design consultant from 1963 to 1991. During that time, Bellini oversaw the design of some of Olivetti’s most popular typewriters.


His penchant for electronic design didn’t stop there: Bellini also designed cameras for Fuji, televisions for Brionvega and a slew of audio devices for Yamaha, then served as design consultant for Renault and devised the interior of the 1980 Lancia Trevi for Fiat. Meanwhile, his architecture work spans continents, including such modern gems as the Museum of Islamic Arts at the Louvre, the National Gallery of Victoria extension in Melbourne, the Dubai Creek Complex and the Milan Convention Centre in his hometown.


And then there’s the furniture: Over the last 70 years, Bellini has designed office furniture for Vitra; lamps for Artemide, Erco and FLOS; porcelain for Rosenthal and long-beloved seating for Kartell, Natuzzi, B&B Italia, Cassina and more.


His oft-imitated 1977 Cab chair for Cassina, comprising 16 individual pieces of saddle leather that create a “skin” over a minimal metal frame, remains one of the manufacturer’s best sellers today. His pudgy-legged, round tables for Cassina foreshadow Faye Toogood’s beloved Roly Poly line. His postmodern Summa armchairs for Kartell, as well as his elegant Chiara floor lamp, still lure collectors on vintage furniture websites.


Bellini’s most famous contribution to furniture design, though, may be his 1972 Camaleonda sofa for B&B Italia. Designed as an entrant to the MoMA show “Italy: The New Domestic Landscape,” the seat takes its name from the Italian words for chameleon and wave. Its bulbous, modular form makes it infinitely flexible. It was a runaway hit at the show and, once discontinued, remained so popular among vintage dealers that B&B Italia reissued it in 2020 with all recycled materials and interchangeable seat covers. “Of all the objects I have designed, Camaleonda is perhaps the best in terms of its sense of freedom,” Bellini said.


Browse an expansive collection of Mario Bellini’s furniture — including walnut dining tables, mid-century sofas and more — today at 1stDibs.

About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in Utrecht, Netherlands
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1stDibs seller since 2017
52 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: <1 hour
Associations
20th Century Specialists
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