In 1970, Mario Bellini designed a sofa that would endure over four decades of interior trends and necessities. Now, in 2020, his Camaleonda seating system is one of the most coveted pieces on Instagram and beyond, and the good news is that thanks to B&B Italia and Bellini himself, it's poised to make a comeback.
Still designing at 85, the iconic designer ceased production of the innovative seating system in 1979, paving the way for modular, malleable sofa systems to exist in the world in a functional and utility-forward way. “I crossed two words: camaleonte, or chameleon, an extraordinary animal capable of adapting to its environment, and onda, or wave.” Bellini told Architectural Digest on deciding the name for the Camaleonda, which is a bubble-like configuration of seating, hooked together by carabiners to create a sofa system entirely unique to the individual's space.
B&B Italia is set to put the Camaleonda back into production, but their new use of entirely recyclable or recycled materials is what makes this truly great news for the world we live in today, where ethical solutions are not just a pleasant afterthought, but often a deciding factor for the climate-conscious consumer. In a sweet sentiment, Bellini states to Architectural Digest, “I hope Greta would be proud.”, referring to the teenage Swedish activist, Greta Thunberg.
With little replicas on the market, the vintage Camaleonda's left in the world are predominantly found for tens of thousands of dollars on vintage homewares sites such as 1st Dibs, which is one of the reasons the piece is so hard to obtain. While we can't see the price getting too much lower with the new run of production, considering the strong house name behind it, we'll still be looking out for it despite the lack of pricing on B&B's site (the telltale sign of something we can't afford). You never know, we might have saved up by then.