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B & B Italia: Founder Busnelli Dies Aged 87

Piero Ambrogio Busnelli, founder of the furniture company B & B Italia passed away on January 25th 2014. This is not only a loss for the whole furniture industry in Italy, Busnelli was regarded as an outstanding character and a pioneer for Italian design – including the outdoor segment.

Busnelli was born in 1926 and grew up in Meda where his career as entrepreneur started. In 1966 he founded the company C&B together with Cesare Cessina, realising his dream of creating an “Industry for Design”. Based on the manufacturing tradition of his native region he built an industrial culture of design and made it famous in many parts of the world. He introduced the technique of manufacturing upholstered furniture with formed polyurethane cold foam to the industry and worked together with a number of famous designers like Mario Bellini, Gaetano Pesce, Ludovico Magistretti, Marco Zanuso. Busnelli’s Enterprise reached a leading position in the world of design furniture and gained international success.

One fundamental turn for Piero Ambrogio Busnelli was the change of the C&B company into B&B Italia in 1973. B&B initiated a range of prestigious projects – architectural ones like the design of their head office by R. Piano and R. Rogers and product oriented ones like the style classics “Sisamo”, “Sity”, “Domus” and “Charles”. These successful concepts had an enormous impact on the history of Italian design, also because of the new generation of young designers that have been inspired by Busnelli, like Antonio Citterio, Patricia Urquiola, Paolo Piva, Naoto Fukasawa and Jeffrey Bernett.

Today the company is managed by the second Busnelli generation.

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