The aim of this blog is to seek further information and ideas on the world of flooring in all its aspects, because the complex allure of this world – made up of technology, craftsmanship, design, creativity and much more – never ceases to amaze us… and we’re sure it will have the same effect on you.

Xgone: endless possibilities

Thursday 10 September 2015
Sara Bertolotti
Written by
Sara Bertolotti

Deferrari+Modesti was founded by Javier Deferrari and Lavinia Modesti in Florence in 2010.

It is a multidisciplinary design firm working with architecture, interior design, outfittings and industrial design.

Some of its works have been published in key sector journals.

Lavinia Modesti (1979) graduated in architecture at the Faculty of Architecture in Florence, with a dissertation on folding chairs supervised by Enzo Mari. She began her professional activity working as his assistant in Milan, cooperating on projects in the field of furnishing elements, office components and multiples of art. She continued her professional experience working with the firm Actar-Arquitectura in Barcelona, later returning to Milan to work with Caruso-Mainardi and finally Boeri Studio.

Javier Deferrari (1978) began his studies in architecture at the University of Buenos Aires. In 2002 he moved to Milan where he later graduated at the Polytechnic. After an experience in South Africa, in 2006 he began to work with RCC Architetti in Milan, developing residential projects in Italy and abroad. In 2008 he began to work with Stefano Boeri's firm, collaborating on the redevelopment of the ex Military Arsenal at La Maddalena.

 

TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELVES: WHO ARE YOU, WHY AND HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH THE WORLD OF ARCHITECTURE?

The idea of the firm came about in Milan while we were working with Stefano Boeri's studio, and then developed and became reality in Florence, with DEFERRARI+MODESTI. A multidisciplinary firm based on our own personal research, covering different fields which has allowed us to develop projects in the field of architecture, fittings, interiors and design.

We were born and grew up in two different continents, we both have our own cultural baggage, and we have developed very different professional experiences. This means that we are complementary, each one offering their own approach, vision and knowledge to develop every project.

Lavinia in fact graduated in architecture at the Faculty of Architecture in Florence, with a dissertation on folding chairs supervised by Enzo Mari. She began her professional activity working as his assistant in Milan, cooperating on projects in the field of furnishing elements, office components and multiples of art. She continued her professional experience working with the firm Actar-Arquitectura in Barcelona, later returning to Milan to work with Caruso-Mainardi and finally Boeri Studio. 

Javier began his studies in architecture at the University of Buenos Aires. In 2002 he moved to Milan where he later graduated at the Polytechnic. After an experience in South Africa, in 2006 he began to work with RCC Architetti in Milan, developing residential projects in Italy and abroad. In 2008 he began to work with Stefano Boeri's firm, collaborating on the redevelopment of the ex-Arsenal at La Maddalena.

 

DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE A SPECIFIC STYLE?

No, we don't think we have a style, rather an approach that reflects a common language in all our projects.

 

WHAT ARE YOUR REFERENCES IN THE WORLD OF ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN?

We have many references, we look closely and passionately at the work of both old masters and current colleagues. Prouvè, Eames, Scarpa, Albini, Sottsass, Mari, to name but a few, as well as Morrison, Bouroullec, Grcic...etc… We study the works of many designers, observing the solutions they identified each time, the language used, the form obtained at the end of a long process. But for some of them we admire not only their works but also their thoughts, their approach to design, their vision of the world, their humanity. Among these, Enzo Mari is certainly one of our references.

 

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN TODAY?

We think that it is impossible to express a general opinion of architecture and design today, there are so many different results in these two fields. We are very much interested in projects that respond to the needs they were designed for, which don't impose themselves with ideas that don't meet these purposes, which respond to an idea of balance and beauty, bearers of meaning.

 

WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION FROM?

Our inspiration comes from different sources, we look to the world of art, we dip into our own experience gained on our travels, by studying the masters of architecture and design, but often also by observing our everyday lives.

 

THE WEB HAS BECOME A FUNDAMENTAL TOOL, EVEN PROFESSIONALLY. HOW IS THIS SO FOR THE WORLD OF ARCHITECTURE?

The web is a huge source of information, knowledge and stimuli, but like all tools it must be used in an aware manner, otherwise it can lead to a process of standardisation, flattening all contents. 

XGONE: HOW DID THIS PROJECT IDEA COME ABOUT, AND HOW WAS IT DEVELOPED?

My grandfather was a ceramic sculptor, so I was always fascinated by this really versatile material, that has a thousand uses in design and architecture. When we read the competition form, we decided to take part straight away, by developing a system of elements that, combined together, break up the "serial" nature of tiles. Research into a module used to create variable, composite results is a recurrent theme in our works. The hexagon was decomposed and recomposed, identifying an abacus of shapes used to create both regular and completely random patterns. The design met with great success, seeing that Mirage decided to include it in its own collection and present it at Cersaie 2014.
 

WHERE DOES THE INSPIRATION FOR THE PROJECT COME FROM?

Xgone comes from the idea of creating a rich, multicoloured ceramic collection, the peculiarity of which lies in the fact of eliminating the perception of the single element or the serial repetition of modules, focusing instead on the possibility to create surfaces with a design offering infinite possibilities for both colours and composition. A compositional process which, starting from elementary modules, is able to develop an infinite number of combinations, creating different visual impacts every time. 

WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS FOR THE NEAR FUTURE?

Our expectations are to be able to continue our research and be able to develop new and interesting partnerships in different fields, as we have done so far. We would particularly like to continue to work with industry, developing other products both in the coverings and the furnishing components sectors. We are very much interested in the industrial process, understood as mass production, but with the artisanal approach typical of Italian industry.
 

GENERALLY, WHAT ARE YOUR DREAMS, HOPES, PLANS?

... that's difficult to say, there are so many dreams, hopes and plans... With our passion and our energy, we hope that they will all come true. We would like to continue to consolidate our firm, help it grow, have the chance to develop other projects that interest us, be able to create spaces in which people feel good, with products that meet their needs.