Season 2

Pietro Russo

A certain afterglow

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“Visibilities are not forms of objects, nor even forms that would show up under light, but rather forms of luminosity which are created by the light itself and allow a thing or object to exist only as a flash, sparkle or shimmer.” Gilles Deleuze

In his books about cinema, and more generally referring to Foucault and Bergson's theories, Deleuze breaks away from the notion of consciousness as a light that illuminates objects otherwise relegated to darkness. He states, on the contrary, that things shine in themselves without anything to illuminate them, and that our consciousness is actually a secondary formation. He describes it as a sort of opacity that stops or reflects, and so reveals, a light that was already there. If things are more or less assemblages of light, then the regimes of visibility and sayability are historically variable. From this point of view, there is no room for the grand narrative of decline that takes us from the shining things of the Homeric Greeks to the dark times of technological nihilism.

Pietro Russo’s objects, with their forms alluding to the past, their futuristic technologies, and their distinctive way of shining, are a beautiful excuses to recall this philosophy of perception. Purposely unclear in their relation to historical periods and styles, and often not defined in their function, Russo's pieces stay as proactive objects in the spaces of the contemporary home. Depending on the “lights” you awake in them, their captivating appearance could remain silently powerful or they could stimulate reflections on the nature of a domestic object.

At SEE••DS for the first time, in the frame of the exhibition A Certain Afterglow, Pietro Russo presents his three Daffodils. Neither mirrors nor lamps, they have flower-like heads with deliberately unnatural proportions. These forms seemingly stare into the future, their strange roots planted in the ceiling, possibly drawing from the past. The upside down antennas emit light but, in addition, are openly awaiting the "light" of a possible interpretation.

Ginko and Float come to populate Pietro Russo’s world of extraordinary shining objects. Despite their clear functions as a glass cabinet and a shelving system, they carry blurry suggestions, mixing design languages and altered natural forms in a sculptural statement.

Hypothetical substance is given to the fascinating idea that lights inhabit every single thing.

DIMITRI BÄHLER

T-FURNITURE

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The T-Furniture collection was designed for a ceramics exhibition at Kissthedesign Gallery. The pieces act as a support as well as a background for the objects placed on them. Produced thanks to the “sandwich” technology, T-Table and T-Shelves are very thin, yet solid. T-Shelves also have a big contact surface against the wall for a better stability. The special coating, a chameleon colour, borrowed from the car industry, gives each object a distinctive chromatic effect that contrasts with the extreme simplicity of its design.

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DANIEL EMMA

BRASS PAPERWEIGHT SET

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Hand polished brass paperweights, in a set of three, is a project looking to create the unexpected from simple objects using simple forms, drawing influence and insight from the diverse Australian culture.

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DANIEL EMMA

STATIONERY CONTAINER

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A solid resin container holds your bits and bobs while the clear spherical lids magnify what is under them.

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MARC DIBEH

THE (NOT SO) GLORIOLE LAMP

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The idea behind the lamp is to deprive an originally shiny material, in this case, brass, of its reflective quality and to purposefully roughen it by oxidising, thus also intensifying the inner halo and giving the object an egotistical presence.

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SARAH GIBSON AND NICK KARLOVASITIS • DESIGNBYTHEM

DIAL HOSE HANGER

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The fun oversized dial of this clean and playful hose hanger keeps the hose tidy whilst adding colour to the garden or courtyard. Innovative but not forced, useful but also enjoyable, Dial Hose Hanger is sensitive to time and to the environment. It is also accessible and not over designed.

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GIOVANNI DE FRANCESCO

NOX ILLUMINATIO MEA

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This series of seven photograms is inspired by the book Memoires of the Blind by Jacques Derrida. Each frame is obtained, without a camera, by placing the remaining wax of a consumed candle on a sheet of photosensitised paper and exposing it to light. The printing process of the “rayograph” in the dark room allows the creation of an exact representation of the object and its matter, but, at the same time, shows deformed and fantastical visions of it. Nox Illuminatio Mea suggests celestial bodies, cells under the microscope or eyeballs and produces continuous allusions to light.

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LAURELINE GALLIOT

PIGGY BANK

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By introducing the principles derived from her practice of painting to industrial design, Galliot has devised a creative process that enables designing objects in a more intuitive way than with traditional 3D modelling programmes. Tridimensional animation software allows her to create objects by layering materials, textures and colours with gestures similar to those of a painter. Piggy Bank is the last work of the 3D printed collection Line & Mass, which was born from this research.

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MARTINO GAMPER

AUGE FÜR AUGE

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Auge für Auge collection, produced by J. & L. Lobmeyr, a Viennese glassware company, was presented as part of Total Trattoria project. This dining event and exhibition was the ultimate expression of Martino Gamper’s Trattoria al Cappello concept, which he developed with Åbäke and Alex Rich more than ten years ago stimulated by a common passion for food, cooking and the interest to trigger unusual moments of interaction and dialogue. Gamper has designed every element of Total Trattoria ranging from the kitchen and its storage areas to the cutlery, tables, chairs and glassware, which included the Auge für Auge glass.

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MARTINO GAMPER

CUTTINGS

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Cuttings glassware collection is the result of the collaboration between Martino Gamper and J. Hill’s Standard, a mouth-blown, hand-cut crystal maker from Waterford, Ireland. Gamper worked directly with the crystal, removing the material in a manner that felt instinctive, free and pleasing. The process of making cuts in this instance is less about applied decoration and closer to sculpture, hence the series name. The tactile crystal forms feel rugged and primitive in the hand; fingers naturally seek out the smooth hollows and crisp ridges of the cuts.

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MARTINO GAMPER

IN VINO VERITAS

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In Vino Veritas is a glassware set comprising of 1 carafe and an assortment of 6 glasses. The borosilicate glass used to produce them is very durable making them perfect for everyday use. The glassware plays with combinations of colour and transparency with a deep line of coloured glass making for a lively addition. The set includes 3 different types of glasses: a wine glass, a water tumbler and a long tall glass useful for a cocktail, making the set just right for a setting for two.

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GEMMA HOLT

AREA

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The Area ring is hand pierced from a sheet of silver; the circular hole created to fit over the wearer's finger has the same area as the gold plated part that surrounds it.

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GEMMA HOLT

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The circle is related to the divine; a simple circle has since ancient times represented eternity as it has no beginning and no end. The ∞ ring is made from a circular section of silver wire and plated in gold, made to fit over two fingers.

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GIULIO IACCHETTI • INTERNOITALIANO

ORTE

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This set of gardening tools in polished metal is designed by Giulio Iacchetti. It consists of a hoe, a rake and a shovel. The set comes with a wooden base, where the tools can be stored away when the job is done.

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VITTORIO VENEZIA • INTERNOITALIANO

IDRO

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The watering can is designed by Vittorio Venezia. It is made of bent sheet metal and welded adopting one of the oldest handicraft techniques used by lo stagnini, a traveling handyman specialised in welding. Idro is designed to be an environmentally friendly, “green” object in every aspect: function, construction, form. Completely handmade, Idro’s flared top is useful for collecting rainwater.

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OEUFFICE

IONIK CONSOLE

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Ionik Console belongs to the Kapital collection based on essential forms, reminiscent of primordial stone capitals and simple geometric assemblages commonly found in classical architecture. The distinct and characteristic profiles, proportions and details found in classical orders inspired this piece as a simplified reinterpretation with a contemporary twist.

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OEUFFICE

TUSKAN STOOL

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Tuskan Stool belongs to the Kapital collection based on essential forms, reminiscent of primordial stone capitals and simple geometric assemblages commonly found in classical architecture. The distinct and characteristic profiles, proportions and details found in classical orders inspired this piece as a simplified reinterpretation with a contemporary twist.

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OEUFFICE

BALAUSTRA VASE

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This open structure vase has an oval shaped brass railing that supports the upper part of flower or plant stems. Its pure and overlapping metallic construction evokes the geometry of a twisted balustrade particularly common in Milanese rationalist architecture.

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OEUFFICE

SARACINESCA TABLE PODIUM

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The overlapping collage of grids and planes is inspired by the ornate detailing of Milanese security grilles. The multi-layered podium becomes a dramatic display for any tableware set and enhances the presentation of both, dishes and decorative elements.

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LEX POTT

CHROMA FURNITURE COLLECTION

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For Chroma furniture collection, commissioned by Baars & Bloemhoff, Lex Pott chose to take the use of edge banding as his point of departure. Edge banding is primarily applied to cross-cut edges of panel materials to create the impression that a material is solid. Working with contrasting edge banding gives it a new feel, producing objects with coloured profiles. This does maximum justice to the spatial quality of the panel material, lending a piece a different colour combination each time it is observed from a new point of view. The optical shadow effect of the coloured surfaces makes it appear as though the shapes have coloured shadows.

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PIETRO RUSSO

SAT CHANDELIER

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This light sculpture is an elegant retro-futuristic interpretation of space technology and science fiction design.

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PIETRO RUSSO

OTTO LAMP

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This spotlight has been designed with the intent to exalt and illuminate portions of small spaces or objects that are normally hidden in the shadows. With a LED technology, Otto is made of octagonal shaped brass with a cylindrical brass spotlight. Each one of the free sides of the octagon provides a different direction of light.

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JERSZY SEYMOUR

WORKSHOP STOOL

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The stool is a result of a series of exhibitions by Jerszy Seymour that explore the possibility of an “Amateur” society (meaning “lover”, “appassionato”). By using polycaprolactone wax, both as a construction material and as a metaphor for the creative energy in all people, the exhibitions created functional situations as a platform to discuss the possibility of utopia.

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JERSZY SEYMOUR

FIRST ANNUAL REPORT

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First Annual Report, a one-off performance devised as a musical “opera non-opera”, consists of 15 musical passages performed by a Seymour-fronted band. The performance is a response to ideas introduced via New Dirty Enterprises, which comprised an “initial stock offering” of a prospectively broader commercial model; a desk and table whereno-one was actually supposed to sit; 1km of steel tubing (the physical manifestation of the stock ‘currency’); and pizza boxes containing information on how to start a pizza delivery franchise. The idea was borrowed from British designer William Morris, who suggested that social uprising would be instigated by revolutionaries taking over bakeries. For Seymour, pizza was a logical contemporary alternative to bread.

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TIJMEN SMEULDERS

PLEAT

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Pleat aims to create its own context, thus revealing its intrinsic value. Our perception gets challenged through exaggerating and manipulating the characteristics of materials and colours. This enables a sensorial experience, which is both visible and tangible, to show its versatility in use. When the fundamental elements of a product all relate to and strengthen each other, a design can be separated from the whims of time. A product should never lean on an external concept because the object itself, rather than the words attached to it, should determine the importance of the design.

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TIJMEN SMEULDERS

PLATEAU

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Colour, size, texture weight and shape share information about the function of a product. When products start to summarise function, they become anonymous and unable to properly instruct us about their nature. Boundary and Plateau are part of an ongoing synesthetic investigation into how objects communicate with their users.

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TIJMEN SMEULDERS

BOUNDARY

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Colour, size, texture weight and shape share information about the function of a product. When products start to summarise function, they become anonymous and unable to properly instruct us about their nature. Boundary and Plateau are part of an ongoing synesthetic investigation into how objects communicate with their users.

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STUDY O PORTABLE

ICE FUZZ

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Commissioned by Haptic Thought & DesignMarketo, this ice cube mould takes its shape from two Platonic solids. An octahedron, which is associated with air, exists as a void inside an icosahedron shaped ice cube, which represents water. In the mind of Plato, geometry and its mechanism were related to the order of the natural world. Therefore, just as Plato described his findings through things he was familiar with, the way we encounter and talk about ideas affect the way we perceive them. That could explain why we often take in a lot more from sharing drinks, food and stories with friends than from a lecture on a specific topic.

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GIORGIA ZANELLATO

NARCISO

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The vase is shown to a better advantage when placed on a coffee table with a plunging view of the flowers, highlighting their beauty. The mirror produces a veiled and poetic reflection - the presence of the vase fades evoking the myth of Narcissus.

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ZANELLATO/BORTOTTO

PASSERELLE

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The vase is inspired by the structures that are quickly assembled along the Venetian streets during the tide peaks called aqua alta. The concept is born from the challenge of representing this subtle subject matter through the means of traditional borosilicate glass blowing techniques performed by the Master Massimo Lunardon. Suspended on thin legs, the vase is graceful and inflexible. It guards its contents from harm just as the typical Venetian walkways protect people from the rising water.

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ZAVEN

EXTRA

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The vase has emerged from in-depth research on obsolete techniques used mainly by master potters and recently recuperated by the ceramic district of Nove, located in the Vicenza province, Italy. The extruded ceramic has, in fact, allowed for the marriage of an almost mechanical aesthetic with rough surfaces and warm materials, such as raw earth, allowing for a slight variability, which makes each piece unique. The bare ceramic appears rich and silken and the characteristic striations highlight this particular method of production.

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MATTEO ZORZENONI

CRYSTAL BALL

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The Crystal Ball collection, as the name suggests, links the fragility of glass to the memories of childhood games, magic and coloured soap bubbles, a true cult of the Nineties.These vases embed the same idea of playful lightness. Small marble bases hold big glass spheres, creating a visual displacement between full and empty, fragile and resistant.

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