Design: Playground for the designer

Meets_Design0(October 2009) This years’ fair saw the third of the now – it seem fair to say – established „Marmomacc Meets Design“. Under the auspices of Marmomacc, 13 companies together with 14 architects and designers implemented innovative natural stone products. This year’s motto was „Hybrid and Flexible“ albeit not necessarily recognizable in all presentations, which is no shortcoming, since Marmomacc Meets Design is a playground for novel ideas. Participating companies often allow their artists every possible freedom of expression.

Read on about some of the projects.

Marsotto launched its new design label „Marsotto Edizioni“ by James Irvine and Maddalena Casadei: magazine rack, tables and seats in marble, light and multifunctional,shark fins for fun usually used as door stoppers.

Patricia Urquiola designed „Macrosterias“ for Budri, plant and animal motifs in marble with wood and grass for floors and walls. It was was inspired by Micrasterias, decorative algae which grow in sweet water.

Variations around a basic element or improvisations on a theme was the topic of a piece by US-architects Craig G. Copeland und Turan Duda for Henraux. The picture on the left shows two basic elements combined creating a „breathing wall“, as the architect put is: allowing permeability of air but restricting sunlight. The pieces can be combined in a number of ways, e.g. the unusual table (centre). Right: a flexible bench.

Mele Design of Fratelli Mele showed (left) a seating element that can be combined to form a row of benches, and (centre and right) various surfaces.

Suspending stone from the ceiling is an unusual idea implemented by Francesco Steccanella com for Il Casone. Starting with rough-sawed sandstone batons in 2, 3 and 4 cm-tick Pietra Serena in a variety of hues, these are then laid in a metal scaffolding to form a thin wall or to be suspended from the ceiling. Waste material from the quarries can be used here.

Thin stone strips on stainless steel is the stuff Marco Piva’s lounger (left) is made of for Cava Romana. „Geological Decor“ is what Michelle de Lucchi called his work commissioned by MGM di Furnari (centre) made of vulcanic lava from mount Etna. The organizers integrated pointers to the various stands in the carpet (right).