B&B Italia’s Sleek And Futuristic Outdoor Furniture Has Just The Look You Want

Just like in film, music and fashion – design can be seen as inspired by its past even as it advances towards its future. That taste of yesteryear becomes the keystone for Patricia Urquiola’s Crinoline for contemporary furniture company B&B Italia. As its name suggests, this outdoor furniture collection recalls crinolines – the rigid underskirt garments which supported the full, bell-shaped skirts which women wore in the 1800s. In this, all the chairs under this collection are proposed with a wide curve on the base, with the same flared design effected on the backrest. “The curved part gives it a double-shell silhouette,” Urquiola says, alluding to the comfortable, feminine and romantic look of this collection. To ensure it withstands the elements, the B&B Italia Research and Development Centre utilised weave on an aluminium structure to make it light, recyclable and completely rustproof. 

Crioline Collection

Accompanying her Crinoline outdoor furniture collection are small tables Husk and Fat-Fat. The former is intended as a match to the Husk bed, and used the ancient material of copper as a finish to its top, reminiscent of classical aesthetics albeit with Urquiola’s modern design sensibilities. Fat-fat on the other hand, is a trio – or, if you wish, a quartet – of tray tables, offering lightness from its steel frame and plenty of surface area for your living room. 

Left: Fat Fat tables, Right: Husk table

Another of Urquiola’s contribution, this time to the indoors, is Tufty Time where she returns to the capitonne and Chesterfield sofa types of the 60s and 70s. The designer adds modularity to the system, starting from ottomans all the way up to corner elements with low and high armrests. In doing this, Urquiola recasts the sofa as a meeting place for people, and an invitation to relax.

Tufty Time

Other familiar names who have pitched in with their riff on B&B Italia’s outdoor furnishing include design duo Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby who created the zen-like Tobi-Ishi Outdoor, which fuses a round dining table with a small table. Its name is derived from the smooth stones (tobi-ishi) used as ornaments in Zen gardens and the multitude of angles on this piece offer a meditation on the ephemeral quality of design.

Tobi-ishi Outdoor


Bay Collection

Meanwhile, Bay by Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien provide a sensuality to the outdoors with the use of braided, sculptural furniture where padded seats and soft cushions provide an elegant counterpoint to the monolithic designs. 

Grand Papilio

Bringing the outside in is Naoto Fukasawa’s Grand Papillio which, as its name indicates, is outdoor furniture wholly inspired by butterflies. Its design is that of a chair which would gracefully welcome its user, with a large upper back to offer that enveloping sense of comfort. In conceiving this piece, Fukasawa studied the behaviour of people before deciding on its shape: “I wanted the chair to look naturally comfortable, to have the same shape that relaxation would have if it were represented by an image.” The same design language runs through the entire Papilio series: from the armchairs and chairs, to the Love Papilio sofa and the Papilio bed. 

B&B Italia furniture is available at Space Furniture.

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