Child’s play: B&B Italia introduces a kids-sized version of Gaetano Pesce’s iconic ’UP5’ chair

Large red furniture pieces
B&B Italia's newly scaled-down version of Gaetano Pesce's iconic design is named the 'UPJ', where the 'J' aptly stands for 'junior'
(Image credit: TBC)

Italian furniture brand B&B Italia is launching a new minute incarnation of Gaetano Pesce’s 'UP5' chair. Named the 'UPJ' – where the 'J' aptly stands for 'junior' – the iconic design has been scaled down to child-sized dimensions.

Originally launched in 1969 as part of a seven-piece collection of polyurethane foam seats, the chair is an emotional piece of design that combines craftsmanship with social commentary and humour. The sensual shape of the piece suggests a woman’s body, the womb being the seat while the ottoman symbolises a ball and chain - a design that was intended to communicate Pesce's denouncement of sexism.

No stranger to changing scales, a giant seven metre-high version of the 'UP5' was recently installed at the MAXXI in Rome as part of the museum's major Pesce retrospective exhibition. Now, reduced to tiny proportions, the chair's playful character is further enhanced, making it a perfect introduction to classic design for a new generation.

Large red armchair with circular object attached by a chain

Reduced to tiny proportions, the chair's character is further enhanced, making it a perfect introduction to classic design for a new generation

(Image credit: TBC)

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.