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Design: Geometric dissection and beyond

(November 2010) The name of the game is tangram: an ancient Chinese dissection puzzle consisting of seven flat shapes, called tans, which are combined to form a variety of shapes. Italian designer Damiano Steccanella conceived a set of tiles whose elements can be combined to an infinite number of patterns or creating the illusion of three-dimensional shapes. Good planning skills and solid knowledge base are needed to exhaust the possibilities.

Just the ticket for the Chiampo-Valley-based Faedo Company at the southern edge of the Italian Alps. The company was founded by Guiseppe Faedo who has worked in the branch for over three decades. His children, Stafania and Umberto are also entrepreneurs, as is his wife, who does not work in the office, as one might expect. She is responsible for finishing on the production floor.

Whereas the company started by manufacturing standard products like counter tops and tiles, Faedo is now treading on new ground with its „Faedo Giuseppe Pattern“ line. The first step was taken by the owner himself with three tile shapes, namely „Cielo“ („Sky“), „Conchiglia“ („Shell“), and „Cavaluccio“ („Seahorse“).

With these three shapes alone „the customer can create his own flooring pattern“, according to Stefnia Faedo who explains the concept: „he creates a unique and integral part of his living area content in the knowledge that he was responsible for the realization of the idea.“ The tiles come in sizes of 30,5 cm x 30,5 cm and 61 cm x 30,5 cm respectively. They are 1 cm thick.

The founder’s creations are available in these sizes only for the time being, however Damiano Steccanella’s designs are available in a variety of sizes already, allowing near endless creative possibilities.

But: will products such as these not soon be copied by cheaper competitors? Stefania Faedo is unconcerned: „We have a copyright on the shapes.“ And: „Only if tiles are made with exactly fitting joints, does the picture ensue as it should. Not something every producer is able to deliver.“

Faedo Giuseppe Pattern

Damiano Steccanella (Visto Architectural Workshop)