«I am among the more playful furnishings that I have ever designed », says the architect with multiple Compasso d’Oro Mario Bellini, speaking of Chess (no, it’s not about series this time), a small one collection of accessories he designed in 1971 for B&B Italia (then C&B, also Italy). 50 years later, that light idea of three purely geometric elements, inspired by the pieces of the Queen of the Horse and the Tower, which can be moved and assembled as desired on the “chessboard” of domestic spaces to create tables or extra seats still remains today. valid, so much so that the Brianza company reissues them with philological rigor. Complements fun, playful objects that seem drawn on a squared notebook.
I’m a interlocking game based on the division and multiplication of a parallelepiped, in full Bellini spirit and that is conceived by working on technological innovation and materials to give shape and function to something that just wasn’t there in the furniture. A real game, therefore very serious, because in reality it was meeting the new behaviors that modern domestic spaces were producing. Contemporary to the famous Bambole (armchair and sofa) that Bellini always created for B&B Italia, the original version of the Chess pieces had marked an important technical innovation in the interior panorama.
It was in fact the first time that – and from the main door – the self-skinning polyurethane (soft inside and tear-proof outside), previously only used in the automotive industry. In today’s re-edition, the three Chess pieces are offered with soft leather and pony skin upholstery with visible stitching. At the base there is a sober metal perimeter profile, almost a frame that emphasizes the geometry of the shapes and dialogues by contrast with the softness of the object. For design collectors, but they will already know it, vintage chess pieces remain a coveted rarity.