Back to SoHo to visit some more showrooms and imbibe more design culture. Firstly, to Lissoni, whom I have some past experience with through conversations with one of my fantastic professors Felicia Ferrone who worked for Piero Lissoni in Milan before moving back to the United States. The breadth of work and passion is astounding. If I'm ever lucky enough to go to Salone Del Mobile, Lissoni would definitely be one of the places I would plan to visit. From an outsiders persective (and in the most positive and appreciative manner) Lissoni seems like company built on the cult of personality akin to Apple with Steve Jobs. People talk about the culture of the company and the man himself with such adoration and respect that it seems like a singular environment to be a part of. Lissoni as a company prides itself on its attention to detail, demonstrated in the unbelievably lifelike models the company is able to produce. The ability of the company to create unexpected and engaging solutions which are beautiful and functional is inspiring. Considering their size and the projects that they work on, their continuing commitment to originality and supporting artisan craftsmanship is a sign of the character of the company, especial in such a difficult sector—caught between a rock, a hard place and a potentially spendthrift developer.
If you haven't seen a nanimaquina rug (you have, but you might not have known it), find one. Gold standard in the industry, the handmade in India/Pakistan rugs are a cacophony of wonderful colors and textures. They demonstrate a producer zeroing in on knowledge in techniques and fibers, whilst exploring aesthetics and what is possible. Nanimaquina is driven by narrative and emotion, both through the product, but also the company and their impact on the world—they support the Care and Fair school in India which educates Indian children and prevents forced child labor.
Recently combined into the Italian Design Collective, Fontana Arte represents some of the finest Italian handicraft in the world of glass-work. The video below shows the production process behind the Pinecone, a wonderful piece with so much history and craftsmanship behind it. With an incredibly strong catalog of work and an amazing list of classic pieces, Fontana Arte is now reviving classic designs with LED functionality for those out there who want to bring some of the new into the old.
The recent merge with the Italian Creation Group (a combination of Driade, Fontana Arte, Valcucine and Tosscoquattro) allowed me to see one of the crazies things I saw today...
Out of this world.