November 17, 2010

Open House

by Pilar Viladas for The New York Times T Magazine.

Patrizia Moroso is the creative director of Moroso, the 58-year-old company in Udine, Italy, that is one of the last remaining family-owned furniture manufacturers in a country that was once famous for them. A petite, intense figure — a kind of den mother in Issey Miyake — who loves to nurture new talent, she helped propel designers from Ron Arad and Massimo Iosa Ghini to Tord Boontje and Tokujin Yoshioka onto the global stage by commissioning envelope-pushing chairs, sofas and tables from them.

Patricia Urquiola is a vivacious Spanish architect and designer whose rapid-fire conversation includes multilingual superlatives like “super-carino” (“super-cute”) and “molto timeless.” And thanks to her work for furniture companies like Moroso, Kartell and B&B Italia, Urquiola, whose nine-year-old studio is based in Milan, has rocketed to super stardom in the last few years. Her recent projects include bathtubs for Axor, hotels for the W and Mandarin Oriental chains, a new store for H&M that opens in London next month and sets for a production of Monteverdi’s opera “L’Incoronazione di Poppea” in her hometown of Oviedo, Spain.

Moroso and Urquiola are both smart, opinionated, strong-willed women. So what happened when the former commissioned the latter to design a house? The result is a surprisingly serene and airy structure with colorful, welcoming interiors. On the outside, cedar siding and deep red trim make the 10,000-square-foot structure almost disappear into its heavily wooded setting; on the inside, ample windows let nature into the sheltering spaces. What is more, the house is environmentally conscious, with thick, ventilated and cork-insulated walls, solar panels for heating and hot water, and radiant-heated floors, as well as a large cistern for watering the plants, and outdoor pavers made from recycled steel waste.

“The first time I came here, it was spring,” Moroso said of her initial visit to the site. Having lived for a long time in an old house in the center of Udine, a city of about 100,000 in northeast Italy, Moroso decided that she wanted a change of domestic scenery for herself, her husband, Abdou Salam Gaye, and their three children. One day she noticed “a sort of wild garden” on a secluded street. It happened to be for sale, and — even better — it bordered public parkland that could never be developed. “I thought it was an earthly paradise,” Moroso recalled. Her husband agreed, and Patrizia called Patricia. “I liked her product design,” Moroso explained, “and she’s a woman. I thought I could talk to her about my ideas.” Urquiola designed the house in collaboration with the Milan architect Martino Berghinz, with whom she worked from 2001 to 2008. (Urquiola’s business partner is now Alberto Zontone, who is also her companion.)


















“She’s a big bohemian,” Urquiola said of her client, who studied art before joining the family business nearly three decades ago. The house was thought of “from the inside out,” to accommodate the family’s busy social life. In Gaye’s native Senegal, entertaining groups of extended family and friends is common, so the house’s first floor contains its more public spaces: a catering kitchen, guest room, hammam and indoor pool; a playroom for the children; and two seating areas — one, with Urquiola-designed upholstered furniture and contemporary Iranian rugs, that opens onto a terrace, and the other a conversation pit that Moroso calls “our African place,” for eating and listening to music.



















Upstairs are the family quarters — a smaller living room, a dining room and much smaller kitchen, and bedrooms. Urquiola said of the arrangement, “The house is about how to create an Italian-Senegalese landscape.” Of its formal language, she added: “The house has a kind of severity. So you can put a lot of things in it.”


















Indeed, the interiors are a portrait in restrained clutter: artful groupings of tables and stools, sofas and chairs, pillows, vases and bowls. The art includes a giant light box by Fathi Hassan and an oversize photograph by Boubacar Tour√© Mand√©mory — two contemporary artists who were featured in Moroso’s influential “M’Afrique” exhibition during the 2009 Milan furniture fair — as well as boldly colored canvases by Gaye, who, in addition to painting, oversees the production of the M’Afrique furniture collection.

Some of the furniture is one of a kind, like the painted metal chairs by Ron Arad, but there are Moroso prototypes, too, like the Rift sofa by Urquiola covered in African fabric, which sprawls in the downstairs sitting room. Some pieces are simply rejects, like the Arad-designed plastic Ripple chairs on the terrace. Their colors, muddled in the molding process, made them even more appealing to Moroso. “I like the ‘strange’ version,” she explained, “the mistakes from the factory, the unique pieces made by the industrial process.” Her house, she said, is “sort of a testing place for me,” and “an extension of what I do.”

November 15, 2010

Doctor Gianturco

 from Interni by Alessandra Mauri

He's more charming than Dr. Gregory House. But unlike the famous character seen on television, Giulio Gianturco abandoned the medical profession to take up design. Often achieving extraordinarily innovative results.
What is your educational background?
When I finished high school I wanted to study architecture, but at the time (1972) the school of architecture in Venice was in a state of chaos. So I enrolled to study Medicine, following in the footsteps of my father and my grandfather.
How did the passion for design get started?
I have always been good with my hands; whenever I imagined an object, I would make it. I practiced medicine in Castelfranco Veneto: I had a workshop nearby, and I spent free afternoons making prototypes of objects for myself and friends. That's how I gained experience, with the local craftsmen, who helped me a lot, also because I don't know how to draw. I don't have a traditional studio, I don't work with assistants.
How did you get into the world of design?
I've known Roberto Gavazzi of Boffi for many years, we would often meet outside of those circles. I showed him my pieces in steel, and he liked them: that led to the Minimal series.
What is your relationship with materials?
I am curious; I try to use materials that have been used in other sectors: so-called "marine" steel (AISI 304 stainless) was familiar to me thanks to my experience with yachting. With Agape I then made a silicon shower head. I was experimenting with membranes used inside shower heads to keep deposits from forming. Gluing two sheets of silicon together, I got the idea for the shower head: I like it when material is displayed, in all its essence.
Your latest project?
With Cesana we presented, at the International Bath Fair, a shower where a double glass with tropical fish is inserted in the wall. I was inspired by Miami, where they have a great passion for aquariums. It was a provocative piece, but I liked it a lot.
Technology and poetry.
In effect I have experimented with all the elements. Air, water, fire, earth: the fan, the faucet, the shower head, fire extinguishers, fireplace tools; I have even designed a box of memory: a cinerary urn.
What cannot be missing in an object today?
Especially when you talk about water and light, you cannot get away from the idea that the object you are designing has to be sustainable. With Natalino Malasorti of CEA we have obtained a patent, and with it we are developing a shower head that consumes 4.5 lt per minute. CEA will also distribute my latest project: a fan with six carbon blades, with a low-tension motor that consumes just 20 Watt/hour, capable of moving 40,000 cubic meters of air per hour.
What are you working on now?
I am working on a new, totally revolutionary project, but I still can't talk about it...
We'll look forward to seeing that, and being surprised!

Giulio Gianturco has collaborated with many Italian design companies including Boffi and Agape. For Boffi he designed the entire "Minimal" collection,"Matilda" shower, "Air" fan, and the "Fire" fire extinguisher.

"Minimal" wall faucet

"Minimal" shower head

"Air" fan

Wallpaper magazine awarded "Fire" the extinguisher The Best Kitchen Appliance in 2006.

"Fire" the extinguisher

For Agape he created the "Kaa" shower collection, and the "Soft 2" and "Soft 3" bath mats. In 2005 "Kaa" received both the Elle Deco International Design Award in the bathroom category and the Design Plus Award Material Vision at Frankfurt.

"Kaa" shower head and hand shower

Come by DZINE and check out some of Giulio Gianturco's products!

To view the original Italian article click here.

November 11, 2010

Tokujin Yoshioka's latest project "Snow"

Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka is presenting his latest work "Snow" at the “Sensing Nature” exhibit at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo. The show is on display until early November.




















“Snow” is a 50’ wide tank with hundreds of pounds of feathers flying around. The idea evolved from a smaller exhibit Tokujin did in 1997 for Issey Miyake with similar materials. Here is some information from Tokujin about his installation:

“In recent years, I have been studying the essence that human beings would sense. It is neither arranging nor minimizing the forms, but integrating the phenomena and the low of the nature into the design, and see how it would affect and inspire ourselves. Because I believe there is a hint for the future somewhere in-between the essence of the design and the nature, I would like to pursue designing works with this aspect. The Snow is a 15-meter-wide dynamic installation. Seeing the hundreds kilograms of light feather blown all over and falling down slowly, the memory of the snowscape would lie within people’s heart would be bubbled up. This work would show unimaginable beauty by capturing the irregular movement of the nature. This is designed after the installation in 1997 that expressed the “snow” by the concept of the color “white”. The material is feather, which I believe is the lightest material of the present day. The snowscape created with the feather would be more like the memory of snow lying with people rather than the actual snow. The theme of the exhibition is to rethink the Japanese perception of nature, which is to question how the unconscious power to sense the nature and the value of nature in Japan would affect the contemporary art and design. I do not really know about the value of nature in Japan, but what I would like to do is not to reproduce the nature but to know how human senses function when experiencing nature. The most beautiful things I believe in this world is what is irreproducible, accidentally born, and disorder that cannot be understood by the theory. I believe the nature is the ultimate beauty in this world. The sunlight, soft breeze, and the harmony that leaves create, the variety of the essence in the nature touches our emotions. I intend not to reproduce them, but to pick the element that inspires our heart and integrate it into the design.”

 


November 8, 2010

Bright Ideas



















The 'Lighthouse Lamp' designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, for Established & Sons, was featured on the cover of T magazine's Fall 2010 Design issue.  It is no surprise the title of this issue, Bright Ideas, is paired with this impressive lamp which premiered this year at the Salone del Mobile in Milan.

This lamp was designed in collaboration with Venini, where the Bouroullec brothers emphasize the equilibrium between hand-blown glass and the industrially produced supporting structure. One un-fixed, sharp point of contact keeps the fragile glass shade in balance, further highlighting the juxtaposition of the traditional versus industrial means of manufacture.

The 'Lighthouse Lamp' will be arriving in our showroom soon.  You can visit DZINE to see other pieces designed by the Bouroullec brothers and other widely recognized designers for Established & Sons.

November 4, 2010

Norbert Wangen visits DZINE

German born Architect and Designer Norbert Wangen has been part of the Boffi design team since 2003. He was the creator of the first kitchen with a sliding work surface, the K2.




















The K2 was first presented at the furniture trade fairs of Cologne, Milan and Chicago in 2000. When Norbert designed the K2 he kept the process of cooking in mind. He thought of the kitchen as a machine and how it should work according to the way the consumer would use it. In 2003 Boffi acquired the K2 as well as the Norbert Wangen trademark.

Norbert Wangen has since produced other kitchen systems such as the K14 and bathroom system such as the B14.


 

Norbert not only creates beautiful systems, but has also designed the L10 washbasin and the W1 kitchen and bathroom taps.


In May of 2010 Norbert Wangen, along with Boffi CEO Roberto Gavazzi, visited DZINE for the opening of the new Boffi showroom. During his visit Norbert did a drawing on the wall detailing the disappearing capabilities of the K2.




November 1, 2010

DZINE in 944 Magazine


















Eve and Cardenio Petrucci, owners of DZINE, are featured as one of San Francisco's "Designer Couples" in the October issue of 944 San Francisco Magazine. Sydney Pfaff reveals their story in the Artform column of this years "The Art Issue". Read on to discover how they made their start and what brought DZINE to become one of the world's best furniture showrooms. This collaboration between the love and business of design comes easily for the Petruccis, as Cardenio says, "Luckily, we both have a passion for it, so sometimes it really doesn't feel like work."