Serie UP


The configuration of the UP5_6 armchair had anatomical properties and strong anthropomorphic references; in fact it reflected the maternal laps of votive statues of prehistoric fertility goddesses. With an extra element: a ball that served as a pouf connected to the body of the armchair. The image of comfort was therefore overlapped with the more figurative image of a woman with a ball at her feet.

With respect to his relationship with the world of industrial manufacturing, Gaetano Pesce started from the assumption that with a certain idea in mind, the next step was to identify the most appropriate language to express it, convincing industry to reproduce the idea in many copies so that it might eventually break customs and habits. In the case of this armchair the unique form of the object was juxtaposed by technological innovation, creating an almost clamorous polarity between form and technique. The armchair modified the contraction principle of the sponge, which loses its volume when squeezed in the hand and regains it when released. Thanks to injected polyurethane technology, of which the company was a pioneer at the time, Pesce's idea became feasible. It also allowed for less bulk in the warehouse and significant savings in transport costs. The armchair was covered in elastic fabrics and vacuum packed to achieve maximum contraction, resulting in a volume reduction of up to 90%. When the packaging was opened, atmospheric pressure pushed air into the cells in the polyurethane and the object grew in a spectacular fashion to return to its original form. The vacuum packing technique was used up until 1973 – the 2000 new edition of the collection used the standard process).

There were seven seat models that made up the Series, with different shapes and sizes. The piede UP7 stands out from amongst these, a great sculpture combining modernity and the past, an archaeological fragment of the modern era almost, a perfect expression of the marriage between art and design.

The upholstery still uses elastic fabric and is now available in black, red, yellow, blue and dark green as well as in striped beige and orange. Over the years the UP5_6 armchair has become a true international icon, assuming a wide range of names from "Big Mama" to "Blow Up", becoming an object of desire for a vast public.

Further information

> SERIE UP product sheet
> GAETANO PESCE designer sheet