Raffaello Galiotto continues the Plus Theatre from Hall 10 of Marmomac 2022: “NextCreatures“ was the name of a presentation at the ADI Design Museum in Milan

NextCreatures: Cynara.

Again, the industrial designer showed forms in natural stone that do not exist

Outside in nature, evolution continues: there are permanent changes in the genetic code of animals and plants in the course of reproduction or through mutation, and in the process small changes are incessantly introduced into the world, which, if they bring advantages to the living being in the struggle for survival, become stable in evolution and after a long path can lead to new species.

NextCreatures: Opuntia.

NextCreatures: Pristis.

Something similar is happening in a design studio in the Chiampo Valley in northern Italy between Verona and Venice: there, industrial designer Raffaello Galiotto is inspired by structures from nature to create forms that could be real, but are, in fact, freely invented.

His material is natural stone, and his tools are computer programs and CNC robotic arms.

At Marmomac 2022, Galiotto had presented the first series of these new creations. “Visionary Stone“ was the title of the presentation at the Plus Theatre in Hall 10, before: Italian Stone Theatre.

NextCreatures: Aloacea.

For Milan Design Week in April 2023, he had again demonstrated 21 fictitious objects from nature in Milan at the ADI Design Museum, including those from the Verona fair and some new ones. The material was again marble, as usual in the most decorative varieties.

“NextCreatures“ was the title of the exhibition and the subtitle “The Fantastic Creatures of the Future.“

By the way, we want to give something away right away: At Marmomac in September 2023, there will be the 3rd part of the series, namely “Herbarium Mirabile“ with imaginary plants made of stone.

NextCreatures: Gorgonia.

What attracts Galiotto to the subject is, on the one hand, the fun of designing according to certain rules. We know it from the graphic artist M. C. Escher (1898 – 1972), who, in addition to his impossible perspectives, also had innovative little animals creep out in his pictorial worlds and disappear again.

It is also known from countless science fiction novels and films.

For Galiotto, however, the material plays the central role in his mental and practical experiments.

NextCreatures: Valvatida.

He feels a deep respect for the stone, which is unbelievably millions of years old, and was already there ready-made when evolution had not the slightest inkling of a being like Homo Sapiens.

But he also takes the right to bring together the ancient material with the latest technology and expose the stone to the new possibilities of processing.

“Even stone, the oldest material worked by humans, faces significant change in the future. Numerical technology is creating a new scenario in which digital immateriality will join the powerful force of numerical machinery and plow through stones, exploring new expressive languages.“

However, Galiotto is not bidding farewell to traditional sculpture with manual labor. For him, the guiding figure is and remains the Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio: “Palladio, in addition to being an architect, was also a skilled stonemason. To project stone working into the future, we must always start from our own hands and experiences,“ according to Galiotto.

But he also wants to put the new possibilities of the robotic arm alongside traditional craftsmanship.

NextCreatures: Eulychnia.

In his artistic experiments, one of the current challenges is to explore the interaction between the 3D model in the computer and the mobility of the robot arm. Because things sometimes look different on the screen than they do later on the object, and then there is the situation that something was milled away in a first step that is still in the program for the second step.

Then you have to listen: “If the machine makes unusual noises, it means there’s a problem.“

And there are situations where the machine does something it’s not supposed to. “Then sometimes you can check the programming lines for that job step by step, but there’s no error in the program,“ Galiotto muses, and it sounds a little like sympathy for the machine.

But then, during our conversation at the ADI Museum, he goes on to tell us about the thing that particularly concerns him: Is the surface, which is always slightly different from copy to copy, a consequence of the machine’s defectiveness or an expression of its creativity?

In any case, Galiotto does not polish the surface smooth but leaves it as it is.

Raffaello Galiotto Industrial Design

M. C. Escher

Fotos: Raffaello Galiotto

Raffaello Galiotto.

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(10.07.2023, USA: 07.10.2023)