The iconic Up dedicated to women and the environment

Recyclable, eco-friendly, and green furniture and objects are continuously being made because the push for sustainable design has become more and more evident and concrete. That’s why on the occasion of the Fuorisalone 2021, B&B Italia decided to give an early look at a timeless icon in a special version: the famous Up5_6 armchair made entirely of cork.

Natural and ecological, cork is without a doubt a 100% renewable and recyclable material. Obtained from the bark of cork oaks, a Mediterranean evergreen, it is easily extracted without damaging the plants, which after nine years (the time it takes for the bark to come back) can be once again “processed”. Plus, in addition to being the green material par excellence, cork offers various advantages because it is light, flexible, durable, easy to process, waterproof, fireproof, and hypoallergenic (without even considering its thermal and acoustic properties).

B&B has created the new version of the celebrated armchair by Gaetano Pesce by focusing on the recovery and recycling of used cork collected from schools in Italy. The cork, ground to granules and later mixed with natural binders, is processed through a molding technique, which creates a durable and endlessly recyclable armchair.

Designed in 1969 by Gaetano Pesce, the Up series is one of the most sensational symbols of Radical Design, which has made it unique in history. Among the pieces that make up the collection, the sinuous Up5, with the spherical and matching Up6 pouf, is surely the most well-known and iconic piece in the history of design. Conceived as a metaphor of a “woman with a ball and chain”, this armchair was made as a tribute to women and for years has represented a condemnation of the women’s difficult conditions in some parts of the world. Today, in this cork version, another reflection gets added to this message: it considers the planet and acts as a reminder to take care of the environment.


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