“Architecture is a thing of art, a phenomenon of the emotions, lying outside questions of construction and beyond them. The purpose of construction is to make things hold together; of architecture, to move us.” —Le Corbusier
Once again this year, De Padova presented its new products in an installation created by JoAnn Tan, thus consolidating her relationship with the company.
The display narrates the design steps of two new chairs: Donzella and Deck.
Sketches and drawings form wings in which oversized models, like origami, alongside the actual objects, tell their stories, all with the decisive contribution of two videos made by 5e6, the group of young filmmakers who work on visual communication and production for cinema, television and the web.
For the 52nd edition of the Salone del Mobile De Padova presents Donzella, the chair designed by Michele De Lucchi, not just as an archetype but also as a functional, contemporary piece, without sacrificing small crafted refinements that bring out its uniqueness.
“When I was asked to design the new Carimate I was very pleased, both due to my admiration for Magistretti and because the Carimate has always seemed like a very modern object to me.”
This is how Michele De Lucchi begins to describe the design idea for the Donzella chair.
“The Carimate is a “popular” chair, made with straw, one of the many interpretations of the bucket seat. I thought about the manual skills of rural artisans, who made their own tools, about the ingenuity you can see in common materials, things we see every day, their possibilities to become useful instruments. This was the case of a simple willow stick, which divides to become the handle of a rake, in the rural tradition. This chair takes advantage of the very beautiful interlock that was invented by an anonymous creator many years ago, to resolve the point of connection between the seat and the legs.”
Deck, by Luca Nichetto, is a seating system with industrial appeal, which sets out to combine the strength of outdoor furnishings with the elegance of indoor seating, creating a collection that can fit into any environment.
“The great Transatlantic ocean liners of the past had long promenades facing the sea. These decks were made of nautical wood, which could stand up to humidity, brine and weather. The seating was made in the same way.”
This is what inspired Luca Nichetto in the design of Deck. He continues: “A collection of seats that sets out to combine the strength of outdoor furnishings with the elegance of indoor decor, creating objects that work perfectly in any situation.”
Thanks to its clean lines and adaptability to all environments, Deck is an ideal match with the Railway collection of tables, designed by Luca Nichetto for De Padova.
The new developments also include solutions for the living area.
The Pilotis chair and hassock designed by Philippe Nigro complete the series, joining the sofa, also in the new natural leather version.
The Railway table by Luca Nichetto goes Indoor, offered for the home with a top in Cervaiole arabesque white marble, black Marquinia marble or natural oak; a table with character, solid, with clean forms and rigorous functional quality.
Florinda, designed in 2011 by Monica Förster, now becomes Soft with a seat and a very simple cushion that fits into the back, all in soft polyurethane, in white and black.
Alongside the new entries for 2013, there are many other proposals, presented in elegant settings, to narrate the De Padova lifestyle and the constant evolution in terms of both quality and design of products, through different styles and aesthetic expressions.
An expansion of the Yuva sofa range designed by Aksu/Suardi, a project with soft rounded lines, based on the desire to reduce, to simplify, taking the product to its essence by starting with the idea of the cushion. Classics issued in the new Canaletto walnut finish, from the Shine containers and table to the Tani Moto bookcase and the Reflex chest of drawers, all the way to the 606 Universal Shelving System by Dieter Rams in the black painted version.
An exclusive selection of fabrics by è DePadova is used to cover both the new products and the classics of the collection: linens and cottons in nuances of colors and textures that make furnishings distinctive, designed for pleasant, serene moments, embodying a precise lifestyle.
There are no hesitations regarding the exclusive selection of new leathers, either, enhanced by natural treatments and offered in natural colors.
The know-how of the brand is evident in all things: every product in the è DePadova collection simultaneously speaks of quality craftsmanship and innovation, for a “tactile home” to caress with your fingertips, a relaxing, enjoyable place to live that leaves plenty of room for relationships, creating a welcoming whole that can seduce anyone at first glance.
“Design should bring the most of the best to the greatest number of persons at the lowest possible cost.” —Charles Eames
There are two new chairs, Donzella and Deck. There are two designers, Michele De Lucchi and Luca Nichetto. And there’s a company, De Padova. Enough material to write a story.
But stories, as we know, have different viewpoints, depending on the characters and on who tells the tale.
The same is true of stories of objects. Especially in their genesis. It is never easy to pinpoint the decisive moment.
The vague moment of the roughing out of an idea?
The long development phases?
When do they become “product”?
Does it happen only when they are chosen and “possessed,” and they begin their true life? It is not just one but all of these moments that go into the creation of the object, as narrated in the installation by JoAnn Tan, whose ethereal delicacy reveals the stages that make inspiration into concrete reality.
Dozens of drawings on cardboard, whose repetitive quality retraces the lines of silent thinking of De Lucchi, the systematic processes of Nichetto.
The first against a yellow background, the second on blue. A hinted suggestion that comes from their respective worlds of reference: that of the agricultural, rural world, of manual skills and peasant folklore, or the technical-maritime world of the great Transatlantic ocean liners of the early 20th century.
But there’s more. The tradition of a company, its continuity. The force of ideas that is revealed, even a posteriori, in the timeliness of new interpretations.
Behind the two chairs, in fact, two others are lurking, not coincidentally by a single designer: Vico Magistretti.
They are his Carimate and Silver models, forming the starting points for Donzella and Deck.
To project, Nichetto reminds us, “means to throw forward”. De Lucchi says that an idea, if it’s a good one, can be picked up as a starting point for other projects, making it the go-between to get to the future.
Not a gaze back, but the natural progression of a narrative. An evolution in the world of design.
The mastery of the designer has to hold together all the threads of the ideas, adding new ones, creating new signs, swayed by his or her own passions and interests.
Like De Lucchi, who in his very personal way has managed to develop a new chair, finding the design solution in the tools of farmers, seeing the connection between a rush-bottomed chair, to combine experimental craftsmanship and industrial organization.
“So as had been requested, I began to draw a bucket seat, starting with a Carimate. With the armrests a bit lower, the back a bit higher, four legs, a rush-bottomed seat…it was beautiful. The
woven seat, the wood, the intuitive character of the Carimate…maybe these were precisely the factors that made me think about the rural world, the world of pitchforks, rakes, shovels…the
tools of the peasant tradition, marvelous things, containing all the secrets and cunning to make them work at their best, because they were made directly by the people who used them. Directly
from the wood, from its forms and characteristics.
For Donzella I wanted to use the system farmers used to attach the handle of a rake or of certain types of shovels. It is based on a V-shaped form, which is intelligent because it doubles its strength. Every V-shaped branch has the capacity to support much more strain, and to apply more gripping force on the seat of the chair”.
Likewise, Nichetto—who as a Venetian has a close relationship with the sea—assigned the task of working on an outdoor chair, has let himself be influenced by the sturdy models used on the early Transatlantic cruise ships, chairs made to stand up to weather. This was just a stimulus, to get started, and then “to bring the right balance back into things, and into the components of the project”, which for him is connected with the performance of materials and a respectful confrontation with limits.
“My idea was not just to create a chair, but a family suitable for many settings, exploiting the possibilities offered by technopolymers. I used the ductility of plastic for the skeleton, which I designed as the support for the various parts. Changing the finishes, the covering materials, the function of the chair also changes, giving it tactile and ergonomic comfort as well. My ambition was to equal Magistretti’s Silver, creating a new outdoor and indoor chair, but above all a chair that would be truly versatile”.
The stories of the secrets hidden in forms reveal methods and make what cannot be seen become tangible in the finished object—something impalpable, as only inspiration can be— but also a part of the its story, ensuring that it is ready to take on a life of its own.