We discuss art and design with the multidisciplinary design duo.
Designers Mauro Fragiotta and Francesca Adami
What made you want to work as a designer?
Creativity. One of the main things which bring us together is the willingness to express it and bring our ideas to life.
Since kids we have always been creative, practicing different form of art, like drawing and photography.
Becoming designers gave us the knowledge to understand how the things are made and more importantly, how to materialize an idea. Also to be born in Italy, where fine craftsmanship meets advanced design, played a big role in choosing our training and careers. Francesca, born and raised where Etruscan people left a big heritage of fine design like pottery, jewelry and architecture, she has always been fascinated about her ancestors' legacy.
For this reason she decided to study first archaeology and design later.
Your work crosses the boundaries between design, art and installations. Where do your influences come from?
First of all, for us, there is no difference in approaching a design or an art project, our aim is always the same: to create something innovative in which the aesthetics is the main feature.
We always explore a different theme at each project, but our biggest influences come from the art world, mathematics and nature.
For example inside our virtual exhibition Rules and Chaos we exhibited different projects that have in common the investigation into influence of mathematics in nature's aesthetics.
Mauro, in particular, is a big fan of physics and geometry, therefore these are recurrent themes in our works.
Centaurus Chair - Matt Black
Pegasus Coffee Table - Gold Edition
How does materiality come to play in your design?
In our design we try always to exploit the material's characteristics.
Each material can convey different feelings or significance depending how it is used and finished, such as in our Thinness Collection in which we used the metal to express lightness.
Opacity, reflections, touch sensations are always features that we take into account during our design process.
We've worked a lot with metal because our closest collaborators are master to shape this material and this gave us big freedom.
But we've also worked with natural stones like marble and quartzite, playing with materiality and translucency.
Glass characteristics are also amazing, using the refraction effect we created a new family of mirrors.
Lately we've worked with Murano glass masters using with the glass melting technique, the unpredictability of the process is a key feature of the project. In a nutshell the material is always a protagonist in our objects.
Can you give us your must have furniture list?
It's not easy to give a list but we can mention some objects designed to stand the test of time, their shapes became iconic and suitable for any kind of environment, for us they're always source of inspiration and their designers are reference to follow.
We admire Charles and Ray Eames' works with plywood, in particular LCW chair is one of their must have pieces, like most of Vico Magistretti's lamps such as the Atollo.
Also works from the Bauhaus school and Memphis Group are such iconic and timeless that to have one of their pieces today is priceless for any good design lover. In regards to contemporary design we appreciate designers who push the limits of aesthetics and production processes, in this Zaha Hadid gave a huge contribution, the stunning Le-A table is strongly representative of this.
Another reference designer for us is Fabio Novembre who is always thinking out the box, telling stories with objects and keeping carry on the Italian design legacy, the set of chairs Him and Her became an instant classic like many other works from him.