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Canasta Collection

Diseño/Design: Patricia Urquiola Para/for: B&B Italia

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Made from wicker, cane or intertwined woods, canasta baskets have traditionally been used to carry or store fruit, linen and other objects. For the designer Patricia Urquiola they are the starting point for a new collection of outdoor furniture that reinterprets the function and shape of these baskets with a totally contemporary approach.

Reinventing traditional forms and materials. “The true strength of a designer lies in their curiosity. Any designer should demonstrate a deep love for everyday life and for the objects that surround them”, explains the Asturian designer, who throughout her trajectory has used everyday objects and modest materials as a source of inspiration.
On this occasion she has recovered the popular wicker basket with a high wide mouth and has cut it in half to define the shape of the sofa, the armchair, the seats, the deckchair and the great circular lounge chair that compose the Canasta series.
In addition, the geometric mesh of the traditional Vienna straw –used in classic chairs such as the 214 by Michael Thonet or the Ceska by Marcel Breuer- has been amplified to macro proportions with regard to the original, providing the various pieces with a lightweight, stagey appearance. The fine metal structure is covered in natural fibres hand-worked in the Philippines and are available in the colours white and bronze. Urquiola thus recovers the art of basket-weaving but does so by incorporating strips of polyurethane fibre that reinforce the pieces and makes them more resistant to the inclemency of the weather.

Comfort and protection. Anatomical shape and large dimensions are other characteristics of the collection. In this line, both the sofa and the armchair come in several sizes and in two versions: with high or low backrest. In the same way that the basket protects the fruit, this backrest gives shelter from the sun and ensures privacy and, thanks to its openwork design, establishes a play of light and shadow while allowing air to circulate with complete freedom through the octagonal holes.
The circular lounge chair, in turn, becomes a species of comfortable nest in which to take shelter, accompanied by the cushions that Urquiola has also designed for the collection. Plain colours, combined with striped and flowered patterns in different shades, all of them recovered from the archive of the firm B&B Italia, are reproduced on soft yet water-resistant fabrics, especially devised for these cushions for outdoor use.

The other elements. Besides the seating pieces, the collection is completed with a series of tables with structures in steel varnished in black and white, and with surfaces covered in ceramic tiles. The decoration reproduces the prints of the cushions in black, white, brown, cyclamen and turquoise shades, and also manifest the designer’s interest in transforming the handicrafts and the memory associated with popular tradition in objects of contemporary design.

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Diseño/Design: Patricia Urquiola Para/for: B&B Italia
Patricia Urquiola
Milán, Italia