THE OTHER FRENCH REVOLUTION, THE DESIGN ONE

THE OTHER FRENCH REVOLUTION, THE DESIGN ONE

By Secondome

It was a revolution, similar to the one the school of Bauhaus triggered in Germany a few years earlier. Without l’Union des artises modernes a huge part of contemporary design would not be imaginable. Or, at least, it would not imaginable as we now know it.
Because from that group of architects and designers who, in 1929, launched in Paris the manifesto of a new, social art that was meant to turn to the industry and banished “everything that looks rich” or “comes from a grandmother”, was born a new idea of relationship between appearance and function, between use and aesthetics.
An idea that still stands as the base of the design of furniture, interiors and space. A creativity that reduces décor and makes beauty emerge from flat, geometric, essential and pure lines, and embraces reinforced concrete.

Charlotte Perriand, bibliothèque de la Maison de la Tunisie, 1952

But what is the Union des artistes modernes that Centre Pompodou is going to celebrate with an important retrospective, Uam, Une aventure modern, from May 30th to August 27th?

It all begun thanks to a small, but important, secession. In 1929, in Paris, a small group guided by Robert Mallet-Stevens left the Societé des artistes décorateurs, gradually joined by other figures as Jean Prouvé, Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perrian. Their aim was to create “a truly social art, adapt to progress and capable of combining modern and industrial form against classicism and tradition”. The debut of the collective is at the Pavillon de Marsan in 1930: “we must first of all rise against what ‘looks rich’ or is ‘done right’ or ‘comes from a grandma’, and impose will where the habit is invoked and win the habit of the eye”.

Robert Mallet-Stevens, Hall, published in Une ambassade française, Paris

These are the years in which Jean Prouvé worked at the Standard chair, getting aesthetic from the function and Pierre Chareau defined his linear geometries. These are the years of Robert Delaunay, of Le Corbusier, of Pierre Jeannaret and André Lurçat. An advance of modernity that leads to the group accusations of “degenerations”, “machinism” and “Bolshevism”. The reply comes in 1934 with the manifesto For modern art, in which the collective establishes the fundamental principles of modernity that must turn to technology and new materials to create “happy shapes that will be produced in series”, “pure, sober and refined lines and, so to speak, also of this modern art, the setting of our life”.

The Union has been active until the late fifties, with an alt during the Second World War. A forty years long story, that still lasts now.


TWINER#6 LIVELINESS

TWINER#6: LIVELINESS

By Secondome

Secondome and Ex Elettrofonica present the exhibit Twiner#6 - Liveliness, held in the Corporate Hospitality Lounge + LEA Lounge Extended Area of the BNL Italian Open, inside the Foro Italico.

The exhibit is a tribute to Liveliness.

Times of crisis are excellent moments for creative minds. It’s precisely in these moments of emergency that liveliness, understood as an attitude of readiness of spirit and inventiveness, leads to dynamic and unexpected solutions.

The city of Rome in the post-war period provides an exemplary framework for enquiry concerning this idea: the 'dolce vita', full of leisure and recreation, sports and cultural events, was a compelling response to the desolation left by the war. In the city, the urgency of starting to live and enjoy life again could be felt. The restless frenzy of the city pleasantly surprised even the American journalist Janet Flanner, then the New Yorker’s correspondent to Paris. In her articles, she declared Rome more stimulating than Paris. Liveliness of thought sets events with beneficial effects in motion: events that can bring out the best of our time, leading us to find renewed faith in people and their potential. Artists and designers stimulate new interesting exchanges between critical reflection and creativity and, in the arts and in sport, the exuberance of talent becomes a decisive opportunity for change.

LOUNGE AUTORITÀ

     

Design: Getsuen and Rosa by Masanori Umeda and Brasilia coffee table by the Campana brothers for Edra 
Arte: Bello and Brutto by Dionigi Mattia Gagliardi and Minerva Acrobatica (courtesy of RAM - Radio Arte Mobile) and 12 untitled drawings by Felice Levini 

LOUNGE TEVERE SUD

  

Design: Tables Lines under the forest by Hillsideout (courtesy of Rossana Orlandi), Supercolor and Campanino chairs by F.lli Levaggi Sedie, stools and console Tadao by Laura Mochi Onori, Gaia and Lorenzo Rebecchini for Forma&Cemento.
Arte: Contestare l'ovvio, Don't touch, Dollaro and Pareggiare by Marco Bernardi.

LOUNGE FIC

     

     

Design: Superonda sofas by Archizoom Associati for Centro Studi Poltronova, Brasilia cabinet by the Campana brothers for Edra, Revolution stool by Millim Studio.
Arte:
 Works by Dionigi Mattia Gagliardi and Emanuele Napolitano, LOST , Texture and Liquidity by Lorenzo Pace (courtesy of ADA project), Where is Abel? by Gregorio Samsa.

LOUNGE MONTEMARIO SUD

    

Design: Fusion bench and stool and Revolution bench by Millim Studio.
Arte: Works by Claudia Peill (courtesy Anna Marra Contemporary).

LOUNGE MONTEMARIO NORD

Design: Superonda sofas by Archizoom Associati for Centro Studi Poltronova.
Arte: Works by Gioacchino Pontrelli (courtesy Francesca Antonini arte contemporanea). 

This year, in addition to the usual exhibition area in the Corporate Hospitality lounge, the show is extended to LEA, a multifunctional space (designed by architect Fabrizio Graziani) furnished with the best pieces by the best contemporary designers, that includes an italian starred restaurant with a strong innovative tone, a bistrot restaurant and a space dedicated to entertainment with a bar, lounge and live music, together with pool-side cocktail bar.

An evocative place where art, together with design, thanks to the iconic works by Stefano Minzi and Lorenzo Scotto di Luzio, recalls in a contemporary mood the extraordinary atmosphere it could be breathed in the postwar period, with a mix of style, elegance and functionality that made Rome become the liveliest city in Europe.

LEA

   

Design: Standard and Essential sofas and Chiara armchair by Francesco Binfarè, Cipria sofa and Vermelha armchair by the Campana brothers, Gina chairs and Margherita armchairs by Jacopo Foggini, Getsuen armchairs by Masanori Umeda for Edra, Awaiting benches by Giorgia Zanellato and Coralla Maiuri and Lunapark coffee table by Alessandro Zambelli for Secondome, pouf Couture by Lorenza Bozzoli, Icenine stools by Simone Fanciullacci and Antonio De Marco for Edizione Limitata, Veli Couture suspension lamps by Adriano Rachele for Slamp.
Arte: Works by Lorenzo Scotto di Luzio (courtesy of T293) and Stefano Minzi.

PH Serena Eller Vainicher
Graphic design: Nero


MORE DESIGN, LESS DECOR: THE COMEBACK OF THE PURPOSE

MORE DESIGN, LESS DECOR: THE COMEBACK OF THE PURPOSE

By Secondome

During an interview a while ago, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec listed a few prerogatives of their projects, including honesty, history, the quality of materials, the signs of time and, last but not least, the “purpose”. It was not a given that the most prominent, admired and envied design couple of the last years would bring up the idea of purpose, that for a long time we stopped considering an essential feature of the project and become more a variable in the hands of the creative’s inspiration. However the purpose is climbing back up from the rough path it periodically drops of in design, to show up in classy pieces in which it’s not bound to aesthetics but, somehow, shapes it.

Trespolone, Trespolino and Trespoletto | Michele De Lucchi for Danese Milano

Sometimes this purpose’s comeback is explicit, visible and claimed, sometimes it’s implied and to be looked for behind patinas and special effects. We are anyway getting back to a ground zero of design. It’s not a coincidence 2018 is the 100th year anniversary of Achille Castiglioni’s birth, and for the occasion one hundred designers from all over the world celebrated it with an exhibition of piece, one each, anonymous. Neither it’s a coincidence the success of the U-Joints exhibition during Milan Fuorisalone, that celebrated every kind of joint.

Bouroullec for Wonderglass | ph Giulio Ghirardi

During the last Milan Design Week, we also could appreciate, among others, the Bouroullec’s Alcova vases for Wonderglass, handmade by Italian master craftsman, an extremely refined balance of imperfections given by the glass’ printing and production’s techniques which don’t forget the purpose of the objects, in fact enhance it. Bouroullecs also designed the Elementaire chair for Hay, born to be elegant, low cost and end up in the bar’s outdoors of many European squares. Here the chosen technique is the injection and the joints disappear after the finishing to give the chair the aspect of a piece without weldings.

 

Italians have the stronger saying in the purpose’s comeback. Let’s take Giacomo Moor’s Pivot as exemple: a furnitures collection (desk, library, freestanding console, cabinet and coffee table) named after the pivotal mechanism of the shutters, that does without hinges and reduce the aesthetic to the essential. Pivot is a functional and refined collection, with an high impact trait d’union, the tubular iron structure, enriched by shelves and flat surfaces made of fossile-elm with acidated brass doors and four-colored patinas created and exclusively made by Fonderia Artistica Battaglia.

 

 

 

Pivot desk | Giacomo Moor

Also in Italy there is who, as Denis Guidone, made the first armchair for a rising brand such as Mingardo, looking at the minimal and modernist sign of René Herbst, Luigi Caccia Dominioni and the wood-bending techniques of the Viennese chairs. A single enveloping sign, as a loop, defines the seatback and becomes, continuously, the seat. The upholstered parts, backseat and structure, are connected with strings that are the only visible structural detail, to testify the proficiency of Mingardo workshop, working metals for generations.

Denis Guidone for Mingardo

Ron Gilad, from the post of Danese Milano artistic direction, calls for more purpose: for this brand, Michele De Lucchi designed Trespolone, Trespolino and Trespoletto, “a middle ground between an easel and a tripod” says the architect and designer. “An object that can, at need, become table, coathanger, umbrella stand and when not needed can completely disappear”. It’s to smile for that Gilad himself designed a new Fruit Bowl after receiving last year, as he said, numerous critics from “grapes and cherry lovers” for the berries rolled out the container.

Thinking to the purpose means also to take a few steps back with the right humility.


FUORISALONE, WHEN THE AUDIENCE IS PROTAGONIST

FUORISALONE, WHEN THE AUDIENCE IS PROTAGONIST

By Secondome

How far will design bring us in the future with its installations, after this last Fuorisalone in Milan? It’s the question of the moment, when our eyes just closed on an incredible amount of productions. Installations with crazy numbers, both for counted visitors and budgets invested by great brand firms: Hermés, Panasonic, Audi, Bulgari… it’s useless to name them all. It will be hard in the future to further raise the quality benchmark: if in the past the main goal of these big set-ups, jewels in the Milan Design Week’s crown, was to surprise, this time they went for raising a sense of wonder.

Bulgari - Infinity mirror

The key word this year has been interaction, often even interactivity. There was no successful installation that didn’t require the audience to participate, express his opinion, interact, projecting it into immersive paths perfect for the most wide and transversal public in terms of sex, age and taste. Being it the huge Arcadia’s inflated balloon with zero technology involved, the playful and ironic creation that Sara Ricciardi worked on based on the complex “legacy” concept, or the hypnotic labyrinth and spatial works presented by Bulgari for its Fuorisalone debut, recruiting Mvrdv, Ivan Navarro and Storage associates, anywhere the message to the visitors was the same: come and take part in our installation, we created a design world tailor made for all of you. That’s how many people had the Arcadia balloon bouncing around in the small room behind the curtains in a 5vie courtyard. Thousands took pictures of themselves in front of Phillip K. Smith III mirrors for Cos in Isimbardi Palace, probably the most instagrammed piece of the entire week, or into the trail John Wines built for Foscarini at Brera, ideally switching floor and ceiling, or among the red beams in the Honor Courtyard in Palazzo Litta, with which Asif Khan invited the audience to turn its nose up to the sky.

Nendo - Forms of movement

It’s also impossible not to mention a classic as Nendo: the Japanese studio has long been leading the Fuorisalone and this year too, its Forms of movement won over the audience with the usual balance between technology and poetry.

If we were to choose only one of these installations, to summarize the mood of the offer of the just closed week, it would be My first me: know yourself like never before in Issey Miyake showroom. Here technology, emotion and sense of discovery mixed in a trail which is also an invitation to travel and discover oneself.

Issey Miyake - My first me: know yoursefl like never before

The author, Masahiko Sato, is an expert in neuroscience, multimedia arts, animation and graphic design: his installation allowed, among other things, to release your fingerprint in a sort of pool made of three huge screen, see it fluctuate and recall it anytime.

Re-know yourself: Socrates meets design.


FUORISALONE MUST SEE

FUORISALONE MUST SEE

By Secondome

What are the must see at this year Fuorisalone in Milan? We prepared our list of events and irrepetibile installations.

 

U-Joints, Equations of Universal Lifestyle.
Let’s start with U-Joints, at PlusDesign Gallery in via Archimede 28.
We are at design’s ground zero, exhibiting, as a matter of fact, joints: screws, innocenti pipes, dovetail joints, knots…

Andrea Caputo and Anniina Koivu directed a team of fifteen professionals who in an year shaped an obsession and filled a gap: despite joints being the base of any manufact, being it a design piece or not, there never had been an exhibition to showcase them catalogued for size and material, separaing the anonymous ones from the author’s ones. A nice installation with tables covered in white sheets like a wedding hall, tops the release of this humble objects, objects of interest for many masters as Alvar Aalto, Enzo Mari, Alberto Meda and Vico Magistretti. The exhibition includes more that fifty designers and masterpieces of eastern woodcrafting. A catalogue is scheduled to be presented soon.

 

Vegan Design
For those who look for a thread and a story in to the design, Vegan Design – Or the Art of Reduction at Garage Sanremo in via Zecca Vecchia is an exhibition not to miss. For two reasons. First the author, Israeli Erez Nevi Pana, explores a world still new for the design: the veganism. Second, the exhibition is curated by Maria Cristina Didero, her name is in itself a quality guarantee about her choice of authors and narrative approach. Erez Nevi Pana designs and produces furnitures completely giving up any components with animal origin, including all traditional glues used for wood. And when he has to gather silk, he waits for the butterfly to be out of the cocoon. The value of its work, regardless of being vegan, consists in the fact that the designer gave himself a very difficult task, to be fulfilled with many troubles, and managed to achieve his objective. A small, big utopia becomes true thanks to design.

  

Vegan Design | Erez Nevi Pana                                       Arcadia | Sara Ricciardi

Arcadia
We enter the dreamy universe of Sara Ricciardi. The curator Alice Stori Lichtenstein recruited the young Beneventan designer, class 1989, through her delicate transition from promise to reality in the Italian design scene. The setting, Arcadia in via Cesare Correnti 14 (5vie district), it’s an inflatable ironic and playful installation about Legacy. Alice Stori Lichtenstein has the designer work with the legacy, indeed, of Schloss Hollenegg, the Austrian castle where the curator carries on her research project with young designers from all over the world.

 

Una stanza
We are in Ventura Centrale, the space in via Ferrante Aporti 9/21 in the old storage space of the Railway Station, that for the second year confirm itself as one of the most interesting news of Fuorisalone.

Here, the eclectic designer Antonio Aricò and Editamateria invite to walk through a door, enter a tunnel and, step by step, take our place in a room with the basic living objects. A cozy space that recreates the spirit and the poetic of Aricò: a sideboard, a monk’ssas table, a desk, a camp bed and a painting. Each piece of furniture has a function and recalls an emotion with mixed feelings of intimacy and sharing.

 

1+1+1 Assab One
Marco Sammicheli curates once again the fortunate project (via Privata Assab 1) with the intriguing formula: call an architect, a designer and an artist to collaborate in giving a soul to former industrial spaces of the family printing factiory.

A space that Elena Quarestani devoted to art in 2002. For this Fuorisalone, the choice fell upon Johanna Grawunder, American architect who worked with Superstudio and Ettore Sottsass, Christoph Hefti, textile designer turned to interiors and Antoni Malinowski, Polish artist who uses color to design spaces. The result is a series of works that completely match the concept. Marco Sammicheli explained to Domus: “The authors get their invitation between fall and the beginning of winter. We request them not only to present their work but to come here and live this experience with us. An important aspect, of an almost carefree cohabitation, that integrates the curatorship of the project.”

 

FuturDome and Match
FuturDome in via Paisiello 6 it’s a news of this Fuorisalone. Ventura moves in the big Liberty building which housed the last futurists in the 40’s, after leaving Lambrate, giving space to innovative projects, usually focused on social issues and shed a light on the technological avantgarde. In this space Secondome presents Match. The name has in itself an idea of meeting/clash between completely different materials and shapes. Match are two tables and one bench designed by two couples of designers, each with their approach to the concept. Atlas is a bronze and Murano glass coffee table designed by Hillsideout, the Italian-German duo made by Andrea Zambelli and Nat Wilms, who since 2009 has made a signature of mixing traditional woodworking with contemporary materials.
With Fusion, on the other side, Millim Studio, Chiara Pellicano and Edoardo Giammarioli, both class 1989, create their own mix of marble and plexiglass.

 

HH, an Holland vision about healt and happiness
Also located in FuturDome, Holland Alissa Rees brings her beautiful story of philosophy student turned designer after a long illness and hospitalization. Those days spent in the hospital cold and grey rooms pushed her to change profession. Among Alissa’s project we find candle sets for hospital rooms, wearable health tools to make patients’ lives easier and playfull gadgets. All of it designed with an approach that’s a real lesson about design and empathy.

 


MILLIM STUDIO: THE MILLENNIAL DESIGN EMBRACES MARBLE AND PLEXIGLASS

MILLIM STUDIO: THE MILLENNIAL DESIGN EMBRACES MARBLE AND PLEXIGLASS

Secondome intervews Millim Studio

Together with Hillsideout’s Atlas, the other soul of Match, Secondome’s project for Milan Design Week in the spaces of FuturDome, is Fusion. This time too, a designers couple works on the meeting-clash between different materials, marble and plexiglass. We chatted about it with the designers, Millim Studio, alias Chiara Pellicano and Edoardo Giammarioli, both class 1989, with a millennial perspective about their approach to the creative work.

How did you chose the materials for this mix? Why marble and plexiglass?
We were fascinated by the idea of mixing fusion and discovery. We wanted to mix to reveal, so we needed a solid material that could be explored on the inside and a lens to amplify what we usually look at in a regular size.
The marble with its infinite details was the perfect tale to tell, the plexiglass, with its transparency and properties of distortion was the perfect narrating voice.

Fusion Detail

Where does the value of working in pair lay? You have different ways to feel, do you complement or contrast each other?
Even if we have the same goal, we’d never follow the same path to reach it, so we believe the real value is the constant discovery of the other. Our approaches and feelings are different so even though we are usually complementary, sometimes you have to learn to overlap, not to impose but to understand and sometimes you have to follow.

Two years after “Design the future”, a first balance of how the future has been?
We're happy. They’ve been two intense and exciting years. New paths opened, we are learning a lot and we have been given the chance to explore completely different fields of action. Working first on something for a gallery, than on a project for a huge corporation or on small self-productions, we believe this is the biggest gift that this future could have in store for us.

What does it mean to be millennial designers? What’s the impact of being your age has on designing and planning?
Being a millennial designer means to forget the world “target” and replace it with feelings, moods, desires. This is our approach, we try to move who’s on the other side. People want to understand and “feel”, that’s why we stress the importance of all the mental process behind a project and we to care about all the aspects that surpass the product strictly, trying to give to the final user a complete experience.

 

Collage The Row

Someone else’s work that you think manages to picture what’s design today.
One of the operations we mostly appreciated recently is Maurizio Cattelan’s “Museum League”. It’s what we call a Project. Everything’s in its place, conceptually and commercially; and yet manages to mainly focus on the idea of belonging, as we said, it speaks to the listeners but with a potentially popular and replicable infinite times, a rare project.

An artist or designer you learnt something from and one you’d steal a secret to?
We were deeply impacted by the vision of Christoph Niemann, German writer, illustrator and graphic designer. In some of his illustrations and many of his interviews, he depicts the backstages of his work: a praise to mental labour and the processes that bring to the definition of a new project.
We thought we were weird while exerting a huge effort to come up with a complete project, this was an eye-opener for us, made us feel much more “normal”. Hard work is part of the game.
A secret to steal? Definitely from Studio Job. We are fascinated with their coherence and the strenght they manage to infuse in all of their projects.

 


HILLSIDEOUT: ATLAS, THE UTOPIA’S DESIGN COMING FROM ATLANTIS

HILLSIDEOUT: ATLAS, THE UTOPIA’S DESIGN COMING FROM ATLANTIS

Secondome interviews Hillsideout

Opposites connect. And in the design world, they give life to realities never covered or imagined before. Like Match, Secondome’s project for Milan Design Week in via Paisiello FuturDome. A project that from its very name calls to mind a meeting-clash between completely different materials and shapes. Match consists of two collections by two couples of designers, each with a different approach to the concept.

First, we’ll focus on Atlas, the bronze and Murano glass coffee table designed by Hillsideout, the Italian-Deutsche duo made by Andrea Zambelli and Nat Wilms who, since 2009 has made a signature of the match between artisanal woodworking and contamination with contemporary materials.

 

The past has a key role in your inspiration, with this project you revived the myth of Atlantis. Why?
Introducing two new materials, bronze and Murano glass, we associated them to this mythological island of fire and ice, famous for its metals. Playing with this idea, we made this first piece, a table called Atlas that marks the beginning of this utopistic furnitures that might have belonged to the Titan Atlas from the greek mythology, first king of the heavenly and hyper civilized island of Atlantis. And since it comes from Atlantis, Atlas is destroyed and somehow different. It has a heart of water, which it could not exist without, “frozen” to become ice, both fragile and solid. It’s usable.

 

 

Atlas work in progress

Which is the logic behind your choice of the contemporary materials to mix with wood?
In this project we only used wood for the model to create the mold. And even so its presence can be felt clearly. This to say we are the contemporary element, it’s our mind, not the materials. That doesn’t mean that wood isn’t the material that mostly fits our needs, that’s why it’s always part of our works. We want to express a dynamism that can be recalled both by materials and ideas.

How did you choose the materials for this project?
We like to work with liquid materials, able to change to a solid state. That’s why we thought of a project where two materials similar and very different at the same time, could match and strengthen each other.

How can a creative who keeps alive the past, make good design without falling into the trap of the cult of nostalgia that’s become a trend?
You always have to look into yourself.

Nat Wilms and Andrea Zambelli | PH Ruy Teixeira

You were born as a duo also to revive manufacture. From 2009 up to today, how did you see this world of high craftsmanship grow?
It’s hard to generalize but, as far as furnitures are concerned, we saw very little research connected to skilled craftsmanship, as if this particular time in history doesn’t need it. The interest goes more into the fleeting, that's why space, as well as materials, are perceived differently. That said, we think it’s very important to balance it and go back to the material.

An artist or designer you learnt something from and one you’d steal a secret to?
We have two very different different training backgrounds and so are our mentors. However we agree on the Italian directors of the late 40s’ as Michelangelo Antonioni, for his aestethic and human vision that doesn’t get lost in emotions.


STUDIO 54, THE DESIGN THAT CHANGED NIGHTCLUBBING

STUDIO 54, THE DESIGN THAT CHANGED NIGHTCLUBBING

Di Secondome

Today it’s pretty common to link the words design and club, but in 1977, when the Studio 54 first opened in Manhattan, the mix between architecture and nightclubbing was something more than for pioneers.

In the 60s’ there was the long wave of the Italian clubs raised bu the Radical design, that, are still mentioned all over the world as exemples of spaces where a non-mainstream architectural thought, the art and the culture of leisure could be mixed in an inseparable unicum. However it took the Studio 54 (and the actual disco music, born in the 70s) for the interior design to take that step further into the spectacularization of the dance floor, invisioned as an actual theatrical stage where to move and self-celebrating as main characters of a glossy screenplay even for just one night.

Gianni Arnaudo

A (beautiful) exhibition at the Vitra Design Muesum in Weil am Rhein, near Basel, up to September 9th, is the perfect occasion to recall that golden season that has its roots in the italian radical design and moves forward at least to the beginning of 2000.

Paolo Mussat Sartor

Night Fever. Designing Club Culture 1960 – Today could not leave out. the story of Studio 54. A story of interest for interiors lovers for two reasons: first, obviously, for the architecture of the club. Then because Ian Schrager, owner and father of the club together with Steve Rubell, is the same enterpreneur that in the 80s’ enters the world of boutique hotels becoming the recognized guru of this form of luxury hospitality, quite far from the taste of the big hotel chains. Foreseeing the trends, Schrager (with Rubell) brings into the club world the scenographic approach that will later characterize the themed and ambient hotels whose strong points are architecture and design ideed.

Rod Lewis

That’s how two of the most celebrated architects of the time came to work for the Studio 54: Ron Dowd, great enthusiast of Art Deco and Scott Bromley. Together with a lighting designer (Brian Thompson) and a flower designer (how would have been addressed today) Renny Reynolds. Studio 54 was completed in 45 days. Saturday Night Fever producer, Robert Stigwood asked to film the movie in the building in construction but Schrager refused, as Stigwood would have took control of the works. To make so that the dancefloor would be something original and never seen before, the team of architects separated it from the other areas of the club, just like the stage in a theater is separated from the parterre.

Gustav Volker Heuss

Lighting had to be soft and elegant to enhance the design and the architectural shapes: two excellences worked on it, Jules Fisher and Paul Marantz, and the result – airport floodlights instead strobo lights to shine on the stop-motion human figures – was that atmosphere somewhere in between a dancefloor and a stage. The same atmosphere where Bianca Jagger entered one day on a white horse to celebrate her birthday.

 


SELF-PRODUCED DESIGN: A REVOLUTION THAT BECOMES TREND

SELF-PRODUCED DESIGN: A REVOLUTION THAT BECOMES TREND

By Secondome

Andrea Salvetti | Mazzolin di fiori, Art-Basel

In design as in fashion, the step to turn a niche phenomenon into a trend can be extremely small.

Let’s examine the case of self-production: it’s perfect to illustrate how an actual movement, even though never codified and without a manifesto, born with the implicit ambition of changing the status of the designer reuniting in this figure the author, the editor and the producer, could catch the attention of both critics and public in a few years, establishing a number of creatives in the international scene and becoming inspiration for appraised exhibitions and reviews. The growth of Operae, the Turin’s independent design fair, is a perfect exemple of this process.

It’s been 21 years since Alessandro Ciffo’s debut with his silicone vases, that opened a path which with time and a patient research on plastic and its potential, brought him to realize works as his latest, in which the synthetic material reaches the feel and the color of Murano glass:

“When you realize that silicone’s purpose is not only sealing a detail but can create it, then a new era begins” it’s the quote that opens his website homepage and it’s not by chance.

 

 

 

Alessandro Ciffo | PH Damiano Andreotti

Even before Ciffo, in 1991, debuted, in his Tuscan workshop-laboratory another pioneer, Andrea Salvetti. But we have to go back to the 80s to discover the Italian roots, between Rome and Bologna, of the Swill Dum Dum, who opened the Interno Gallery in Emilia-Romagna before jumping into international collaborations and worldwide exhibitions.
We are talking about eclectic figures and, as often happen in the universe of self-production, borderline between design and art.
Characters who push the borders of the atelier, that, whit them, becomes much more like an actual factory. Salvetti’s works, for instance, are huge and realized with different materials and techniques, starting from melted metals, all conceived and personally made by this peculiar author who was, at the same time, workman and entrepreneur. Salvetti died at 49 in 2017: two months before he published an advertisement looking for someone to help him both in the development of ideas and in the making of the pieces. The amount of work grew and there was the need for a bigger staff, clear sign that the self-production has a growing market.

It’s further confirmation the more recent, yet equally successful, case of Giacomo Moor, class 1981, who payed his due in the workshop, graduated from the Milan Politecnico with a thesis that is the perfect business card, almost a manifesto, for his poetic: Quality flaws: ebonistery within sculpture and design. And, speaking of mixing sculpture and design, we cannot mention Stefano Marolla, from Rome, able to imprint a movement to the wood and a sign inspired to Bernini nonetheless.

But why does a creative choose the self-production way? In Italy we have to go back to Enzo Mari to find track of the encoded thinking behind a choice that aims to bring the public to own the project physically, making the object with their own hands. Today, self-production catches on mostly in schools, among young creatives who, in the demolition of the boundaries of the roles, sees the possibility of delivering to the market manufacts and artwork designed, made and – thanks to the web – even distributed autarchically. Then it’s job of curators, critics and talent scouts to find the most talented designers and let them rise from the crowd. The self-production parabola gets intertwined with the one of Futuro Artigiano – as in the manifesto book by Stefano Micelli – one of the few stages where try and enact the economic reprise of the Country through creativity.

 

Dum Dum and Alessandro Ciffo | Sambamasai


LANZAVECCHIA+WAI: DESIGN AS A BOUNDLESS DREAM

LANZAVECCHIA+WAI: DESIGN AS A BOUNDLESS DREAM

Secondome interviews Lanzavecchia+Wai

One in Pavia, the other in Singapore. More than a collaboration, an alchemy that defies the distances and finds inspiration in the encounter of different cultures and approaches. Francesca Lanzavecchia and Hunn Wai met in 2006 in Eindhoven Design Academy. Three years later they founded the Lanzavecchia+Wai studio that has been challenging the conventions of design ever since, with furnitures, collections and objects that mix mind and heart, craftsmanship and technology, refinement and playfulness.

 

Who are Francesca Lanzavecchia and Hunn Wai?
"We are dreamers, travellers and romantic rationalists who live while trying to build a “Brave New World” without boundaries and borders."

A studio divided between two Countries, far, very far from each other. How do you manage your designing with four hands?
“We have to thank technology for making us feel like we are sitting at the same desk: cloud, videoconferences are our daily routine… And when we have to check something with our own eyes we have models in both offices for testing and evaluating. That, of course, until we’ll be able to teleport.”.

 

 

 

Which material are you most confortable with?
“Each and every time, each and every project, we fall in love with the material we are using and we empathize with it. Even metal, which I perceived as very far from me, if worked on by the right hands can become flexible and hot. However, if I have to instinctively mention one, for me (Francesca) it’s fabric: the most flexible, similar to our most extended sensitive organ, the skin. It’s also the material we can establish the most intimate relation with and can be printed with the symbols of our culture. For me (Hunn) it’s wood: a material stratified along time.”

In your works there is a careful research, but also the craftsmanship tradition from every part of the world. How do you approach a project?
“We always start with the deep knowledge of the context: social, productive, of the usage. To reach it we use a process called “lateral thinking”: gathering all the information coming from the most different fields from observation to human science to technologies. Through the design research we develop a very detailed point of view about the theme or the project we are working on. The final product of every research is the actual objectification of all these information and our feelings.”

Which is the object you’d like to have designed?
“We are designing the windows for Hermes shops in Singapore. We’ve been wanting to work on project where to liberate our creativity without limits of functions and usage for a while now. It’s a dream coming true.”

Which is the object you’d like to design?
“We’d love to approach more whole spaces designing installations, interiors, homes that can bring poetry, lightness and playfulness in our everyday life and can really adapt to the needs of our society and our ever-evolving lives.”