"Up 5" Chair and "Up 6" Ottoman

Designed by Gaetano Pesce, Italian, born 1939. Made from 1970-72 by C & B Italia S.p.A, Novedrate, Italy, 1966 - 1974. Made from 1973-81, 1984, 1994-present by B&B Italia, Milan, founded 1966.

Made in Milan, Italy, Europe

Designed 1969, reissued 1994

Expandable polyurethane foam, stretch jersey fabric

Chair: 40 1/2 x 41 x 51 1/4 inches (102.9 x 104.1 x 130.2 cm) Ottoman: 22 1/2 inches (57.2 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Decorative Arts and Sculpture

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Collab: The Group for Modern and Contemporary Design at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2000

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The chair that made Pesce famous in 1969, Up 5 is largely characteristic of the designer's unique philosophy, imbuing personality into his designs through unconventional materials. Up 5 not only has an organic look and feel-the whole piece literally "grows" into form when unwrapped from its tight vacuum seal. It comes as no surprise, then, that Up 5 evokes a mother's womb and that opening its package becomes an event similar to birth. Pesce has cleverly applied polyurethane, a highly synthetic material, as a metaphor for one of the most precious moments in humanity.