Design Italia, the marriage of architecture and craftsmanship at the Laguna table by Antonio De Marco

Design Italy and architecture: from this association are born many works of high craftsmanship, such as the Laguna table by Antonio De Marco

This elegant new work by Antonio De Marco – Laguna, tribute to Venice – reaffirms the specificity of Italian furniture design and it is the close relationship that has been established since the 1950s between industry and architecture. In fact, a group of young architects who had recently graduated from Milano Polytechnic had begun designing and building the first pieces of modern design furniture after the war. While industrial design in other countries has always indicated the technical work of “designers” trained to work in factories, in Italy it has had a much broader and culturally open development thanks to the fact that architects have mainly designed the house.

Almost all the furniture makers in Brianza quickly understood that in order to modernize their production in style and respond to the growing demand for furniture in a thriving Italy, it was necessary to take a qualitative leap. And the architect immediately rose to the role of promoter, commercial consultant, technology experiments and often also a friend of the cabinetmaker.

It is no coincidence that it was the historian who started Italian modern industrial design IX Triennale in Milan with the exhibition “The form of profit”, Created by the most famous of the Italian urban planning and architecture studies, BBPR (Banfi, Barbiano di Belgioioso, Peressutti and Rogers). This is to explain that very often between the great Italian architecture and design there has been a happy osmosis, which among the numerous examples has even had a humble moka, the highly rewarded: Conica designed by the big ones Aldo Rossi to Alessi.

There have been so many examples, and even among today’s young designers, there is this symbiosis that Antonio De Marco cultivates with very refined projects like this. “This project is a tribute to the city of Venice – he declares – to its fragility and at the same time an incredible strength. The geometry is reminiscent of the city’s many galleries with the typical crucifixes. A classic architectural element is transformed into an elegant and refined piece of furniture. Inspired by Venetian arcades it is configured in several connected vaults that support the glass top “.

In the presentation of Antonio De Marco’s study, there is also another all-Italian specificity, viz a hybridization between culture and craft, the Italian who, by experimenting with innovative technologies, retains an incomparable dexterity and attention to detail. An example of this incompatibility? Federlegno Arredo has recently announced that the very country that has built a lot of wealth on counterfeiting, China does not copy, but imports Italian furniture, with an increase in 2021 of almost 30 percent compared to 2020 and 11.8 percent in 2020 compared to 2019.

Again, De Marco emphasizes that he is deeply attached to the values ​​of this incomparable technical craft: “This project is completely designed and manufactured in Italy of skilled craftsmen in the furniture world, and I always choose to work with the best craftsmen to get pieces that can last over time. The value of my objects comes from their hands. “

If you want to elaborate on this way of working, just look at De Marco’s creations: they present very powerful and innovative technological elements, such as the transformation of the very original Atoll into Roberti Rattan, a versatile daybed inspired by the world of catamarans. “A large net stretched inside a metal structure – says the presentation – a flexible system both in configurations and in the use of the person; an informal session designed for maximum relaxation”. Also transformable and original is the Humidor case, for cigars made in a limited series to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Trinidad brand by DeArt Habanos. Made of ebony, brass and mother of pearl inlays, it opens and closes with compact movements and shapes.

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