B & B Italia Case Study

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B&B Italia, formed in 1966 as the result of the entrepreneurial vision of Piero Ambrogio Busnelli, is a leading Italian design furnishing company with over 800 stores located around in the world. The company started in 1966 as C&B, for Busnelli’s collaboration with another leader in Italian furniture design, Cesare Cassina. In 1973, Piero Ambrogio bought out this partner, but most of the managers doubted his financial acumen and left with Cassina. In the documentary film, B&B Italia. Poetry in the shape. When design meets industry, Piero’s son, Giorgio Busnelli, jokes that the name B&B originally meant Busnelli and “banks.” Headquartered in Novedrate (Como) – in a building designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers in 1971 – the company has built its success on the ability to represent…show more content…
Piero Ambrogio’s breakthrough came when he thought to fuse the expert artisanship of the region with the latest technology. This lightbulb moment came after he visited a plastics exhibition in London. “That was the incredible intuition my father had,” reflects Giorgio Busnelli. “When he saw this machine that was extruding rubber ducks made out of soft polyurethane, and held the material and stretched it in his hands, he said ‘This is fantastic. If they can do this, why can’t we do something bigger?’ ” Piero Ambrogio went to see Bayer, a leading manufacturer of polymer materials, and came up with some designs for cold polyurethane foam moulding. The outcome was comfortable, durable furniture, often with eye-catchingly sensual curves. The technology allowed designers to come up with extraordinary shapes and to bust right out of conventions such as legs and arms and other traditional components of seating. It gave Busnelli a huge advantage, and it made B&B Italia the pioneer in using cold polyurethane injection for upholstered furniture

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