UP5 and UP6, Donna

Gaetano Pesce

Design: 1969
Production: 1970 - 3
Manufacturer: C & B Italia (Cassina
& Busnelli), Novedrate, near Como, Italy
Size: 92 x 117 x 137; seat height 40, UP6
circumference 60 cms
Material: polyurethane foam, cold foammolded,

“Donna” is completely in tune with the spirit of Pop Art and the Gaetano Pesce fondness for anthropomorphic shapes. The chair was actually designed to resemble a prehistoric, female fertility figure, with a ball attached to symbolize captivity: “In this design I have expressed my idea of women. A woman is always confined, a prisoner of herself against her will. For this reason I wanted to give this chair the shape of a woman with a ball chained to her foot to use the traditional image of a prisoner.”1 The unconventional nature of the shape also applies to the construction and marketing of the chair which was one of a series of six. Together they succeeded in marking a radical break from traditional upholstery production thanks to the technology developed by C & B Italia for creating oversized foam parts. “Donna” consists of a molded monoblock of foam without any supporting structure since the “foam rubber” is dense and free-standing. First, a finished piece of furniture covered with elastic nylon jersey is reduced in a vacuum chamber to about 10 percent of its normal volume and is then wrapped in airtight foil. The customer can easily transport the otherwise unwieldy piece single-handedly. After removal of the wrapper at the destination, the chair slowly recovers its original shape without outside help as air seeps back into the capillaries of the polyurethane foam. PD

[1] Gaetano Pesce, “Progetti n. 34, 44. Serie di imbottiti ‘UP’,” in Mario Mastropietro. Un’ Industria per il Design (Milan, 1982), 212.

Gaetano Pesce

Gaetano Pesce UPS und UP6, Donna