The Iconic Camaleonda Modular Sofa Is Back

Designed by Mario Bellini, the iconic Camaleonda modular sofa was first introduced in 1970, becoming beloved by design aficionados, antique dealers, and interior decorators alike. Now, after a close collaboration between the B&B Italia’s Research & Development Centre and Mario Bellini, it’s back in production! The Camaleonda of 2020 retains the same 90×90 cm seat module, backrest, and armrest – even using the original cutting pattern. It also keeps the same padding, along with the system of cables, hooks, and rings that define its modularity, while the tie-rods and rings allow the modules to be unhooked and recombined with ease.

The “sandwich” structure of Camaleonda uses recycled or recyclable materials that can be disassembled easily. The seat, backrest and armrests, and bases are made of wooden panels, it rests on spherical feet made of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified beech wood. The padding of the seat, backrests, and armrests are made of polyurethane with various levels of density and firmness, with the seat designed to allow every layer to interact at once for the utmost comfort. The padding itself is protected by a removable synthetic fabric, dacron, made entirely of recycled PET.

The modular seating of Camaleonda is completed by the addition of a trio of light and easy-to-move accessories meant to function as additional tables or seats, called Gli Scacchi. Each piece is inspired by the game of chess: the queen, the knight, and the rook (hence the Italian names Regina, Cavallo, and Torre). The 2020 reissue features covers made of thick leather and calf hide with visible stitching.

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Kelly Beall is senior editor at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based graphic designer and writer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, and enjoys sharing her finds with others. When undistracted by great art and design, she can be found making a mess in the kitchen, consuming as much information as possible, or on the couch with her three pets. Find her @designcrush on social.