The territories of outdoor furniture are still uncharted, to some extent, leaving freedom for creativity, experimentation with forms, materials and new expressions. Not just projects, but lifestyle proposals that revolutionize the relationship between man and nature.
Some items are intentionally flexible: Clivio, a cot or a bench, produced by Living Divani and designed by Keiji Takeuchi in entirely removable fabric; NATAL ALU X, the series of tables from Tribù to exist together or separately, in the new burgundy color; Tape Cord, a system of seats created by Nendo for indoor use and now ready for all outdoor needs, produced by Minotti; SPECTRA UX, the collection of umbrellas produced by Umbrosa as a result of collaboration with various creative talents, in a versatile range of sizes and forms; Molo, the collection based by Rodolfo Dordoni on a modular grid, easy to disassemble and reorganize to permit new uses and configurations, produced by Kettal.
Shaped to be stored away in the winter, to welcome multiple guests or to be repositioned in case of rain, as in the case of Oh, it rains!, the sofa from the first collaboration between B&B Italia and Philippe Starck, with an original mechanism to permit quick folding of the back at the first sign of bad weather; or Ribambelle, a table with 1 or 2 invisible extensions, which thanks to a telescopic system using bearings multiplies its space for up to 10 persons. The joy of living outdoors in one’s own private paradise, almost mini-works of architecture, is conveyed by Trampoline, a ‘love bed’ created by Patricia Urquiola for Cassina with a large set of available cushions; or by Elvissa, a gazebo in powder-coated aluminium designed by Ludovica + Roberto Palomba for Ethimo; and by Solanas, from Gandiablasco, which with a structure in Dekton® by the Cosentino group ensures durability and zero maintenance.
Then there are the welcoming nests, like Daybed Moon from Vondom, designed by Ramón Esteve, equipped with a rotating base and a shell that allows air to enter; and Pevero from Unopiù, a large circular island that welcomes multiple guests with side tables or footrests on wheels.
The styling of some of the pieces confirms the values of a company’s culture, in timeless design products. Flexform presents Thomas Outdoor, the bestseller designed by Antonio Citterio, now with a back in iroko wood, feet in die-cast metal alloy, nylon pads and cushions in water-repellent fabric. Visionnaire offers Kathryn by Giuseppe Viganò, a ‘seashell’ in teak combined with a finely tailored weave of linen cord. Meridiani moves forward with its collections 100% Made in Italy, thanks to Zoe Wood Open Air, a chair with polypropylene cord woven entirely by hand, combined with a structure in coated aluminium.
Elsewhere we are seeing an Amarcord effect, or nostalgia for precise styles of the past: Ludovica + Roberto Palomba choose a Fifties ‘flavor’ for their Liz chair by Expormim; Eugeni Quitllet reprises the sinuous curves of wooden chairs from the second half of the 19th century to create Remind for Pedrali; Adam D. Tihany gets inspiration from the forms of nature with THEA, the lounge collection by Roda.
Materials of the latest generation, specially developed to stand up to weathering, offer increasingly high performance, also in aesthetic terms. Traditional weaving of natural fibers becomes pure technique in the Anatra cot designed by Patricia Urquiola for Janus & Cie, winner of many prizes, and the New York Soleil lounge chair designed by Sergio Bicego for Saba, with polyethylene cord. Iroko wood also gets technological, combined with steel in Panco, the table produced by Lapalma based on design by Romano Marcato, as does ecoteak matched with white Carrara marble by Paola Navone for the Jeko 33 table by Gervasoni.
References to the nautical world can be seen in the work of ps+a (Palomba and Serafini), which combines woven cord and padding on a solid teak base for Cruise Teak by Talenti; or in Keel by Mario Ferrarini + Victor Vasilev for Potocco, especially to the function of balancing performed by the keel in boats.