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A BRAND NEW MIRAGE BOOTH AT CERSAIE: 2015 INTERVIEW TO GIACOMO FERRARI

Friday 25 September 2015
Andrea Bonacini
Written by
Andrea Bonacini

Even as a child, I had a passion for representing and bringing my ideas to life, and moved swiftly from painting to hammering nails into blocks of wood. After art college, where I had the chance to learn some new techniques that are fundamental to my profession, such as clay modelling, life drawing, photoshop and CAD design, I continued my studies in architecture at the University of Ferrara, where I graduated in 2009 with a dissertation on industrial design, supervised by Professor Giuseppe Mincolelli. My professional activities began during my studies, and continue today cooperating with a number of industrial design and architecture firms; Lineaguida - Florence, Arcodesign - Campogalliano, Dlea - Milano Marittima, Prospazio - Sassuolo.

With the knowledge gained during my early experiences, I was able to set up my own business, Giacomo Ferrari Architetto (www.giacomoferrariarchitetto.com) working with architect Marta Mazzolani. In the past few years, we have gained great satisfaction developing interior design concepts and exhibition designs for numerous companies, including: Grandsoleil, Panerai, Cappellini Cucine, System spa, Brandoli Artwork and Mirage Granito Ceramico spa. In cooperation with Archilinea, we developed an architectural concept for the Ceramica Panaria office building in Finale Emilia and the design for the 2013 and 2014 stands of Graniti Fiandre. Since 2014 we have been developing industrial design concepts of home automation systems for the company Mind srl of Modena.

In the past few years I have registered 2 Italian patents and 3 product utility models for Packaging Design and fixing systems for 20mm thick ceramic products. Thanks to these works, I have received a number of recognitions, including a study grant and the publication of the Packdesign project in Wired 08/2010 issue, “Italian Valley” section.

GIACOMO, TELL US ABOUT THE NEW MIRAGE STAND AT CERSAIE: WHAT ARE THE KEY INNOVATIONS?

It will be like entering a matter workshop.

The new stand is more dynamic and organic than in the past, breaking with both physical and theoretical concepts: the new display system splits the volumes and overlaps them, allowing matter to be captured in different light conditions and perceived as volume, not just surface.
It is organic because the underlying project is clearly identified and understandable, with the "zoning" of different yet permeable spaces: while in the past the design had a regular layout, composed of more maze-like areas, this year it has oblique lines and different prospects, and is thus more welcoming and inviting right from the entrance. 
 

WHAT IS THE UNDERLYING PHILOSOPHY, AND WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM THE COMPANY'S NEW CONTAINER AT CERSAIE?

The basic idea, the point of departure for designing the layout of the 20x20 metres stand was the diagonal.

The four different areas of the stand, the catalogue collections area, the new launch collections area, the evo 2/e area and the engineering area, are clearly differentiated, yet the connection between them is fluid and coherent, offering visitors an effective, simple and stimulating path.

The project was designed following functional guidelines combined with the desire to create spaces carved in negative from matter, using oblique and staggered lines that control the subdivision of the spaces and underline the material nature of the company. The display material envelopes the surfaces to full height, modelling them following multi-faceted volumes.

The objective is to capture and thrill spectators, letting the material speak for itself.

IF YOU HAD TO CHOOSE JUST ONE, WHICH IS THE VIEW OF THE NEW MIRAGE STAND YOU LIKE THE BEST, AND WHY?

The diagonal of the square on which the stand layout is based is the generatrix of the spatial subdivision of the design area, and as such also becomes the most open path connecting all the areas and at the same time offering numerous different viewpoints and perspectives.

The ends of this diagonal are the “new launch collections” area and the “evo 2/e garden”. The first is the point of departure and has a very high partition wall on which the new products can be admired; the second is an authentic point of arrival, culminating in the garden spectacle, with street furnishings and vertical installations.
I think that the best view of the stand can be had along this path, which opens a perceivable view of all the stand right from the entrance.
 

FOR YOU, RESTILE WAS AN IMPORTANT SHOWCASE FOR COMING INTO CONTACT WITH MIRAGE AND THE CERAMIC WORLD. WHAT IMPRESSIONS DID YOU HAVE OF THE CERAMIC WORLD AS AN OUTSIDER, AND HOW HAVE THEY CHANGED, BEEN CONFIRMED OR OVERTURNED, NOW THAT YOU ARE AN "INSIDER" TODAY?

At Mirage I found a dynamic team, willing to believe in and invest in young architects like Marta and me.  We are very satisfied, also because it all started by taking part in a competition run by the company. An interesting initiative for young people, who don't always have the chance to get themselves known, which has led to our collaboration which has been going on for over a year now.

I can state that the bridge that allowed me to enter and become part of the Mirage world was the farming tradition. When I decided to take part in Restile, at the same time I was working on the restructuring of a farmhouse, and the inspiration that I translated into the design for the competition came from the evolution of the construction techniques used in the haylofts known as “Gelosie” (Mashrabiya). After more than a year I am now finishing that project, using ceramic products that I was able to get to know and admire at Mirage.

Before starting this intense collaboration, for me ceramic products were simply for finishing, to be decided on with the customer at the end of the project, but today I appreciate their potential and their evolution compared to the past. As a designer, I have worked to ensure that ceramic material is not simply a flat cover, but is itself a form and a volume. I thought it was a material with limited possibilities for development, yet thanks to a wide range of shapes and thicknesses and water-jet engraving techniques, there are now an infinite number of possibilities for design and application.