B&B Italia celebrates 15 years of outdoor furniture

From a woven design by Patricia Urquiola to an aeroplane-inspired collection by Piero Lissoni: we look back on exceptional B&B Italia outdoor furniture

B&B Italia outdoor furniture on terrace
Vincent Van Duysen’s ‘Pablo Outdoor’ is the latest in a series of outdoor furniture collections by B&B Italia.
(Image credit: Tommaso Sartori)

It all started with Patricia Urquiola’s ‘Canasta’: the 2007 design featured a polyethylene macro weave with a motif combining Mediterranean tradition and Viennese patterns. The collection – including a round-edged, oversized sofa as its most distinctive piece – marked the first foray into outdoor furniture for B&B Italia, a story that has very successfully continued over the following decade and a half, in collaboration with some of the most celebrated furniture designers of today.

B&B Italia outdoor furniture: from cutting-edge design to sustainability

Patricia Urquiola white woven B&B Italia outdoor furniture, photographed poolside from above

‘Canasta’ sofa, by Patricia Urquiola

(Image credit: Patricia Urquiola)

Over the years, the Italian furniture company has called upon its rich roster of international creatives to build its outdoor offering, launching 40 collections by 13 designers, who worked closely and experimented with the B&B Italia Research & Development Centre.

Designers who have contributed to B&B Italia outdoor furniture include Naoto Fukasawa, who created a sinuous wooden bench that references public seating with a refined edge; Antonio Citterio with his take on classic garden chairs; more interpretations of the weave by Urquiola; and an outdoor version of the popular ‘Tobi-Ishi’ dining table by Barber Osgerby. Philippe Starck’s ‘Oh, it rains!’ sofa cleverly folds to protect the seat from the weather; while Doshi Levien’s ‘Bay’ series brings a sculptural quality to the collections. 

B&B Italia outdoor furniture: sofas and armchairs with white upholstery

‘Borea’ collection, by Piero Lissoni

(Image credit: Piero Lissoni)

Among the latest launches are Piero Lissoni’s ‘Borea’, a 2021 collection inspired by aeroplanes and designed to express lightness (with additional pieces, such as a round daybed, being added to the range). Together with Urquiola’s ‘Husk’ seating, ‘Borea’ has marked an important shift towards sustainability for B&B Italia, employing materials such as aluminium and upholstery textiles made from polyester fibre obtained from recycled PET plastic bottles.

‘These steps, and those that will come after, are making the circular economy a concrete reality for B&B Italia,’ reads a statement from the company, as B&B Italia celebrates its outdoor furniture milestone. ‘We move towards a new understanding of design and its industrial processes.’ 

B&B Italia outdoor furniture with teal cushions by a pool

‘Husk’, by Patricia Urquiola

(Image credit: Patricia Urquiola)

Outdoor table

‘Tobi-Ishi’ outdoor table, by Barber Osgerby

(Image credit: Barber Osgerby)

Wooden slatted curved bench

‘Titikaka’, by Naoto Fukasawa

(Image credit: Naoto Fukasawa)

Outdoor sofas on terrace

‘Gio’, by Antonio Citterio

(Image credit: Antonio Citterio)

Folding outdoor sofa

‘Oh, it rains!’ by Philippe Starck

(Image credit: Philippe Starck)

Sunbeds on grass

‘Borea’ sunbeds, by Piero Lissoni. 

(Image credit: Tommaso Sartori)

Steel patio chairs

‘Mirto’, by Antonio Citterio

(Image credit: Antonio Citterio)

INFORMATION

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Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.