Helping organizations create, strengthen and
align with their brands to create value.
Insights. Ideas. Results.


Design Classics

Harry Seating System, 1995

Designer: Antonio Citterio
Manufacturer: B & B Italia

Antonio Citterio is one of Italy’s design superstars. In his Milan studio he creates award-winning buildings, interiors and showrooms for such fashion icons as Valentino, Zegna and Cerruti. He is also a prolific designer of furniture and lighting. Since 1973 he’s collaborated with B & B Italia, one of Italy’s most successful luxury furniture manufacturers, and retailers. Citterio readily credits B & B Italia’s research and development centre with much of his success. “My designs are almost simple sketches ... the rest is left up to the dialogue with the Research Centre,” he modestly explains.

Harry is described in marketing literature as a “system” wherein pieces such as a chaise longue end or corner piece can be added to the normal sofa. But we like the two-and three-seat sofa version best. With its deep seat, slightly higher back and delicate tapered aluminium legs, it balances solidity and lightness.

Harry is the result of an evolutionary process that’s produced almost a dozen seating systems with such names as Sity, Basity and Domus. In February of 1995, while on vacation in the Alps, Citterio faxed his sketches for a new sofa to B & B Italia. Harry was launched that April at the Milan Furniture Fair. Talk about cutting it close!

In a world awash with sofas of every description, Harry is a winner and a true classic. Seen from the back and sides, it is unabashedly modern with its formal yet tailored upholstery and square frame. But the proof of the sofa is in the sitting and the soft yet firm cushions allows you to sit prim and proper or stretch out for a snooze. Harry was born from an obsession with detail and, as with a good suit, it’s the details, when observed close up, that delight. Think of it as a Jil Sanders ensemble for the home – elegant, well-tailored and timeless.

National Post, November 17, 2005