Created by Mario Bellini, the Camaleonda sofa is undoubtedly one of the most iconic Italian modular sofas.
Thanks to its versatile composition, it gained tremendous success in the 70s. It is possible to assemble it in many different ways, making it adaptable to every living room. Today, after 40 years since B&B Italia stopped its production, this sofa is gaining new notoriety. Art galleries, auction houses, and movie directors are going crazy to search the last pieces around.
Camaleonda sofa is composed of seating units available in three different measurements:
- 90×90 cm (the most common squared one)
- 60×90 cm
- 30×90 cm.
It is soft, made of foam and Dupont dacron.
The seating can be linked to a pillow (available in four different measurements) used as a backrest or armrest. The elements were available with many upholstery (from velvet to alpaca).
C&B Italia presented the sofa with the Scacchi box elements (polyurethane foam with a plastic basis), available in three versions. Mario Bellini imagined them as side tables to alternate with Camaleonda seating units.
Camaleonda Sofa History
Camaleonda sofa was designed in 1970, and it was produced until 1979 by B&B Italia.
Mario Bellini imagined Camaleonda as an industrial system of furnishing elements that could freely serve the new conformist life.
It is a system that allows various furnishing solutions, each corresponding to a precise way of living.
This sofa is very comfortable, and the fact this excellent piece is modular provides flexible solutions for any living room.
The sinuous and soft curves of Camaleonda are elegant as well as its dimensions.
Thanks to the ample and comfortable upholstered seatings, made the comfort its main feature.
One of these modules in white cotton or light blue could remind one big cloud.
This design became famous almost immediately after featuring in the exhibition ‘Italy and The New Domestic Landscape’ in the MOMA Museum in 1972.
The sofa that lived two lives
There are some amazing inventions that all at once gain value over time.
Camaleonda today is an incredibly trendy sofa. Probably, more fashionable than it was in the early ’70s when Italy was living the economic boom.
Indeed, trends and fashion contribute to the revaluation of hidden objects, even if sold in the years before for lower prices. Art and design “live and exist” thanks to reinterpretations, and they remain alive forever.
This is possible because this incredible sofa designed by Mario Bellini for B&B Italia in 1970 seems like the perfect example of this development.
The value one used Camaleonda element could have been around 400 euro until many years ago. Now it is growing up and is reaching incredible amounts.
Indeed, we are in front of an iconic piece of Italian design history, despite different shapes and many fabrics.
Unquestionably, he was creating anything that manifested and declared his absolute singularity.
Moreover, we need to consider another fact: B&B Italia stopped Camaleonda production in 1979.
However, it needs a reflection if you will buy one of these now, it could be a good investment.
In addition, beyond style, the composition of this sofa is mainly versatile; in its modular arrangement, more shapes make it perfect to adapt to any surroundings.
To conclude, these are some considerations that we can think of by looking at Camaleonda. Anyway, this sofa is not just a piece for a museum, or just design, or just a creation; it’s art.
Because Camaleonda is perfectly contemporary in its seating and in the idea of the house that we have right now.
In 2020 B&B Italia reissued the Camaleonda sofa.
The reissue features seating units in two different measurements:
Its shape and dimensions are similar to the 1970s version. But the feet of the sofa are different. In the original version, they are made of gum; instead, they are made of beech wood in the reissue.
Furthermore, the Italian manufacturer also reissued the Scacchi side tables. The new version is different from the original one. In fact, it is upholstered with leather, while in the 1970s, it was made just of polyurethane.