Between industry and craftsmanship: Formae presents Roommate

Formae, a new brand of furnishing accessories, introduces Roommate, a collection of objects characterized by simple and essential shapes, and pure geometries.

Formae: more than just metal

The story comes from 40 years of experience in metalworking of Gennaro Tramonti. From here his sons, Laura and Simone Tramonti, started to create a series of objects simple but carefully crafted, with extreme attention to detail, in a successful combination of craftsmanship and industry.

The Roommate concept

Roommate 2019 is inspired by the best made in Italy: objects that are light but not anonymous, for everyday use and with a very discrete presence. Under the art direction of Leonardo Fortino, Roommate involved the young designers Alessandro D'Angeli, De Bona De Meo, Meike Langer, Chiara Ricci, Sovrappensiero Design Studio, Studio Zero and Max Voytenko in the second collection, alongside established names.

Formae and the Roommate collections

The Roommate collections include different pieces, entirely made from metal, laser cut, welded, manually bent and painted. Shelves and other objects, with a modern industrial effect, can be easily integrated into contemporary furniture. The shelves from the Isole series, for example, designed by Studio Zero, draw solids and voids in the geometry of the walls.

Other objects from the collections include bookends, a valet, a clock, different candle holders, clothes hangers, main characters of the setting and silent roommates. A palette of pastel colours creates a balance between the Mediterranean sun and Nordic light, with pop notes in essential furnishings. (Giuliana Maio)


Scopri anche A bluetooth speaker, a wireless charger, pen for touchscreens: when craftsmanship meets technology

Soul_Tech by Mario Alessiani, technology and craftsmanship

Soul_Tech, by Mario Alessiani, is a project that integrates technology and craftsmanship. A collection of very original objects, made of unusual materials if we consider the functions they perform. Mario Alessiani is a designer who perfectly represents the spirit of Millennials; his projects are based on the search for artisanal excellence that mass production has progressively lost.

Wireless charger, Soul_Tech Collection, by Mario Alessiani

A Bluetooth speaker, a wireless charger and a pen for touch screens, the objects that make up Mario Alessiani’s Soul_Tech collection, are everyday objects usually made of plastic.

Speaker bluetooth

The speaker of the Soul_Tech collection is made of etched iron and glass, the battery charger is made of wood, brass and copper, the digital pen is made of brass and aluminum. Thanks to these materials, these objects become also pleasing to the eye, adding aesthetic value to their practical function.

Read also The new sound edge, by Michael Anastassiades

These materials are seldom used to build objects of this kind. The challenge for a designer, in the 2010s, is to design more sustainable models of production, even for everyday objects such as those of the Soul_Tech collection.

With this project, Alessiani wants to show that even a craftsman can create sophisticated objects, with a technological soul. A modern interpretation of the Italian tradition of craftsmanship.

According to Alessiani, the only way to do this is to find a balance between quality, cost and beauty in every project.

The complete Soul_Tech Collection

Read also The new sound edge, by Michael Anastassiades

Giulio Iacchetti: architects and the coffee ritual

Le caffettiere dei Maestri. Quando l’architettura e il design incontrano la Moka” is the title of the exhibition that the Lavazza store on Piazza San Fedele 2, Milan, dedicates to coffeemakers designed by architecture masters. Twenty-four coffee makers illustrate different interpretations of the traditional moka, the steam pressure coffee maker invented in the first half of the 20 century.

Giulio Iacchetti, photo Max Rommel

The moka as an object of desire

The coffee maker is not just an object or a machine: it’s architecture. Every great architect has tried to design one; they aspire to build a a coffeemaker just in the same way as they would like to design a tower before dying.” (Alessandro Mendini) This is how, using Mendini’s words, Giulio Iacchetti, curator of the exhibition, starts describing the inspiration for the exhibition on moka designed by great architects.

The coffeemakers designed by architects

I have identified 1979 as the turning point in the design of the coffee makers. That year was marked by two remarkable events: Marco Zanuso’s Carmencita moka, inspired by the advertisement for Lavazza Paulista coffee, and Richard Sapper’s 9090 coffee maker for Alessi. Both are still in production and have been milestones in the history of moka. Following them, many Masters tried their hand at designing a moka, from Aldo Rossi, to Ettore Sottsass, Gaetano Pesce, Michael Graves, Michele De Lucchi, Angelo Mangiarotti, Guido Venturini, Stefano Giovannoni, Cini Boeri (with the Opera moka pot for La Pavoni), or, more recently, Tom Dixon, and many others.”

The Carmencita coffeemaker, designed in 1979 by Marco Zanuso, in a black version for the 40th anniversary

Why is it so interesting to design a steam pressure coffee maker?

“For different reasons, actually. Coffee is not just a drink, there is a ritual that takes place every time you make coffee with a moka: this way, the coffeemaker becomes an archetypal symbol, the representation of a ritual. Actually, from a technical point of view, the steam pressure coffee maker is not a complex object, as the Bialetti coffeemaker set a standard, and today’s coffeemakers are usually different versions of that design.

The coffeemakers by architects

This exhibition is dedicated to all the different versions of the coffeemakers created by architects and designers, for which Giulio Iacchetti has identified three currents.
One is represented by what I call ‘polygon syndrome’, which includes multi-faceted moka, inspired by Bialetti.
Another interesting trend is the large family of ‘mirror’ moka: it includes the ones that overtly reflect their author’s design style, such as ‘La Pina’ by Piero Lissoni for Alessi, a pure volume, or the moka designed by Angelo Mangiarotti for Mepra, which expresses his whole design philosophy.

Coffee maker La Pina, by Piero Lissoni for Alessi

The third trend is represented by the ‘young Masters’, including coffee makers by young designers. Here there are the Lunika 360 moka, by Francesco Fusillo, the moka of the Collar series, by Daniel Debiasi and Federico Sandri for Stelton, and the Lady Anne moka, by Lara Caffi for Knindustrie, a contemporary coffee maker that reinterprets the silver coffee pots from the past, with decorative elements inspired by the 18th century.”

Is there a ‘perfect coffee pot’?

“Talking of a perfect coffeemaker is probably too much. We can say that the Bialetti moka represents a very good standard and that its success is well deserved. However, the success of the Bialetti icon is due to many reasons – not only to its excellent design. We only need to think that the moka was invented in 1932, but it was patented in 1950s, and its commercial success began in the Sixties. An authentic example of democratic design, which has become so popular thanks to a series of events and the determination of those who designed, produced and finally marketed it.

Coffee pot Opera, by Cini Boeri for La Pavoni, 1989.

But the truth is that there are various schools of thought, especially with regard to materials, therefore each designer can express their own “coffee philosophy.”

So did Gaetano Pesce with "Vesuvio", a massive moka but not very functional, Ettore Sottsass with "Lazaniezani", very elegant and very functional, so Tom Dixon, with his copper coffee maker, a material that the English designer loves very much. And so many others, even others that are not included in this exhibition.

The Brew Collection, by Tom Dixon, with steam pressure coffee pot, piston coffee pot and teapot, all by copper

Le caffettiere dei Maestri. Quando l’architettura e il design incontrano la Moka”, curated by Giulio Iacchetti

Lavazza Flagship Store, Piazza San Fedele 2, Milano
October 1st-November 3rd
h. 08:00 - 20:00

Temporary architecture: the Siza Pavilion, for the Chinese company Camerich

Trade fair pavilions as authentic architectures, though temporary: an old trend that nowadays is well-established. Besides the Salone del Mobile.Milano (and the Fuorisalone), where temporary architecture reigns supreme, the occasions related to furniture exhibitions in which companies use complex installations, often designed by prominent architects, are increasing.

At CIFF – China International Furniture Fair 2019, in Shanghai, an example of this trend was offered by the Siza Pavilion for Camerich, “Elefante Português”, whose shape recalls that of an elephant with its trunk. The pavilion was designed by Álvaro Siza, awarded with the Pritzker Prize in 1992, whose work is described as "Poetic Modernism".

Camerich is not new to booths that are more focused on the design of the pavilion than on the display of furniture; at CIFF Guangzhou 2019, another “Camerich Pavilion” housed several copies of the same chair in a conference hall during the fair.

Read also: The Salone del Mobile and the temporary architecture of the booths

Siza Pavilion for Camerich

The Siza Pavilion, however, represents a significant improvement in terms of quality. Both for the prestige of the architect, one of the greatest exponents of contemporary architecture, and for the choice to create a temporary exhibition. The pavilion housed a series of historical products by Álvaro Siza, illustrating his research into furniture design, inspired by Brazilian modernism.

António Choupina, the architect who was in charge of the technical side, explains: “An aspect of this project that Siza particularly appreciated was the complete freedom allowed by the client. Of course, there were constraints imposed by the exhibition hall, but, except for those, the company set no limits.”

After all, this was not Siza’s first project for a temporary architecture. From the pavilion for Expo 1998 in Lisbon, to the Portuguese pavilion for Expo 2000 in Hanover (one of the first cork buildings), to the Venice Biennale, to the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2005, we can mention many occasions in which Álvaro Siza (in some cases in collaboration with Edouardo Souto de Mora) has dealt with temporary architecture.

A hushed and intimate atmosphere

The Siza Pavilion for Camerich spread over 700 square meters, which is quite surprising for a Chinese furniture fair. Not so much for the size, as for the refined atmosphere obtained at a trade fair occupying more than 400 thousand sq m, visited by over 150 thousand people. A further surprise is represented by the company’s choice to exhibit only two new products, a table and a chair, designed by Álvaro Siza, and a series of historical products, by Siza as well.

Obtaining silence and refinement was quite easy actually: outer walls are made of a material that provides heat and sound insulation, covered with mineral wool and aluminum, with a silver layer that is both visually impactful and fireproof. The natural oak floors and white plaster walls complete the spaces, which unfold one after another like in the courtyards of Chinese houses. The pavilion has seven entrances, creating different points of view.

Two new products by Álvaro Siza

n the same way, the company decided to display only two products, illustrating different development stages, from design to production. The two new furnishings designed by the Portuguese architect, the Castanha table and the Baiana chair, are characterized by an extremely simple design. An ash frame with a natural finish accommodates a seat in woven cane, and the same ash is used for the table.

We do not know the details, but it is likely that the Siza Pavilion will have a prestigious future. They are currently considering to place not far from the Great Wall, but there is still no certainty. Of course, we hope that such a work will not simply be destroyed. (Roberta Mutti)

Read also: The Salone del Mobile and the temporary architecture of the booths

Discover also: The Serpentine Pavilion: temporary architecture

Read also: Casa Dendê Duratex, a temporary architecture in São Paulo, Brasil


Nathan Yong: In the Scheme of Things

To celebrate his 20 years of activity, Nathan Yong Design and the DesignSingapore Council organized an exhibition at the National Design Center in Singapore.

Nathan Yong was one of the first Singaporean designers to establish himself internationally, thanks to collaborations with many companies in the industry, many of which are Italian.

Stack small tables, by Living Divani

The exhibition "In the Scheme of Things" showcases 30 products which are already on the market, and 10 new projects. The projects are explained with sketches, drawings and various materials. This "scheme" illustrates the development and fine-tuning of an object, from the idea to the product ready for sale.

Pebble coffee tables, by Ligne Roset

One of the exhibition's targets is also to encourage Singapore furniture companies to explore the methodological process behind product design.

Bookshelf Off Cut, di Living Divani

The setting, also designed by Nathan Yong, is a sort of wraparound cocoon in white Tyvek, which leave the scene to the products, the actual stars.

The products designed by Nathan Yong Design over the last 20 years range from small tables to bookcases. Among them, we can mention the small tables Bolle by Living Divani or Pebble by Ligne Roset, and the bookcase Off Cut, also by Living Divani.

A space is dedicated to lights, like the Parachute lamp, again for Ligne Roset. Another project for overseas brand  is Valet, the bedroom valet for Gebruder Thonet Vienna.

Parachute lamps, by Ligne Roset

Finally, among the different works of Nathan Yong, we can also mention the Flow bench, for public spaces, and the trophy for the Singapore F1 Grand Prix in 2012, made by Royal Selangor.



Luigi Colani and the "biodesign"

The designer of speed, of “biodynamics”, founder of “biodesign”, and much more. Luigi Colani, passed away on September 16th, aged 91, is a design legend, who worked in all possible design fields.

Born in Germany in 1928 (as Lutz Colani), he worked all over the world. In the early Fifties, in California, he designed new materials for the aeronautical industry. Shortly afterwards, in France, he started working for the automotive industry, where he left a great legacy.

La “Ferrari Testa d’Oro”, prototipo unico di Luigi Colani

By the 1960s, he had expanded into the furniture industry, working with several leading brands in Germany and around the world. Colani left a significant legacy also in furniture design, with many pieces still in production.

Divano Pool, 1970/71, schiuma poliuretanica, rivestito in velluto

Luigi Colani and organic furniture

In 1968 and 1969, as an in-house designer at Kusch + Co., he designed the Colani collection of padded lounge chairs characterized by organic shapes. The collection, updated in 2005, is still in production.

Armchairs of the Colani Collection, design by Luigi Colani for Kusch + Co, 1968-69.

During those years he also designed the experimental kitchen “Experiment 70”, for Poggenpohl, a complete range of furnishings illustrating year 2000, as seen in the Space Age.

In the Seventies, Colani approached the use of plastic and rounded shapes in design of furniture products, some made of fiberglass, others of polyethylene. His passion for research into materials started in the Fifties in California, while working in the aeronautical industry.

Still from 1971, it’s the tea set “Drop”, designed for Rosenthal Studio Linie, also futuristic/bolidist in shape.

Read also Organic design in home furnishings

Bologna Design Week: Le nouvel esprit des couleurs selon Le Corbusier

Among the many events of the Bologna Design Week, do not forget “Le nouvel esprit des couleurs selon Le Corbusier – Padiglione Esprit Nouveau”, the exhibition curated by Faenza-based company Gigacer, supported by Les Couleurs Le Corbusier, the foundation that owns the rights to Le Corbusier’s project on colors.

Reconstruction of the Pavillon de L'Esprit Nouveau by Le Corbusier, Bologna

The Pavillon de L’Esprit Nouveau is a faithful reproduction of the original building designed by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret in 1925, for the Exposition International des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. It was a standardized housing module, consisting in an independent housing unit with terrace/garden, furnished with industrial furniture, which was supposed to be serially reproduced (Ville Immeuble).

The 1977 pavilion was rebuilt by architects Giuliano and Glauco Gresleri, and José Oubrerie. Faithful to the original building in all details, the Pavillon is currently located in front of the entrance to the Bologna exhibition center, on piazza della Costituzione. Recently renovated, it reopened in 2017. The exhibition and talks hosted during the Bologna Design Week represent also an opportunity to visit a work of modern architecture.

Reconstruction of the Pavillon de L'Esprit Nouveau by Le Corbusier, Bologna

Bologna Design Week 2019: an exhibition and two lectures dedicated to Le Corbusier and colors

"Le nouvel esprit des couleurs selon Le Corbusier – Padiglione Esprit Nouveau" is an exhibition that allows us to gain a better understanding of Le Corbusier’s project on colors, organized in collaboration with Le Couleurs Le Corbusier. On the same days as Cersaie, the Pavillon de L’Esprit Nouveau will also host two themed lectures.

Tuesday, September 24th, 6:00 pm: at Pavillon de L’Esprit Nouveau, Florence Cosnefroy, expert of Les Couleurs Le Corbusier, will hold a lecture about Architectural Polychromy

Thursday, September 26th, 6:00 pm: at Pavillon de L’Esprit Nouveau, architect Jacopo Gresleri, Polychromie Architecturale “Dalla cellula alla città: il progetto del colore

The exhibition will be made possible thanks to the synergy with Regione Emilia-Romagna and the collaboration of Istituzione Bologna Musei.

The exhibition will be open from 23rd to 28th September, 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Frame and Lynea by Cordivari Design: A Designer Radiator and Matching Accessories

A complete project for the bathroom: it is formed by Frame and Lynea by Cordivari Design, a designer radiator characterized by a rigorous and essential profile, completed by accessories specially designed to create the perfect whole for any kind of bathroom.


The Frame radiator is particularly versatile, allowing you to customize it in order to harmonize with any interior design style. It is available in many different finishes, from the plain Frame, painted in over 80 colors, to Inox Polished and Inox Decor, with a satin graphic pattern. Frame Picture is perfect for those who love color compositions. It is also available in the electric and in the Frame Blower version, equipped with thermoelectric module.


All these versions are joined by Frame with Lynea accessories, a versatile and universal system of towel bars, hooks and shelves in various sizes, perfect to optimize space in your bathroom and to decorate the living area.


Winner of a Red Dot Design Award, an Archiproducts Design Award and a German Design Award, Lynea, the series designed by Marco Pisati, may be used with all the radiators of the Frame collection.


In order to match different interior design styles, Lynea includes steel towel bars and hooks in different shapes, colors and sizes, as well as a range of shelves with different wood finishes, making it possible to easily fit into living areas.

This way, the radiator becomes an all-round furnishing element that goes beyond the heating function and a protagonist even when it is not working.



Exploring Bologna through Bologna Design Week

Bologna Design Week, the one-week event held during Cersaie, will be back in Bologna in 2019. Now in its fifth edition, the Design Week will present many initiatives involving stores, galleries, designers, public and historical places, with exhibitions, installations and workshops. On September 25th, the Design Night, in collaboration with Confcommercio Ascom Bologna, will see the participation of stores, hotels and restaurants in a collective celebration lasting until midnight.

Design Night, Bologna Design Week 2018, photo Giacomo Maestri.

Le Corbusier and color at the Bologna Design Week

A site-specific project dedicated to color has been developed by Gigacer, Faenza-based company specializing in ceramics. With the support of Fondation Les Couleurs Le CorbusierGigacer explores the meaning of color in Le Corbusier’s works. The Pavillon de L’Esprit Nouveau, designed by Le Corbusier for the Exposition International des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris in 1925, rebuilt in Bologna in 1977 in front of the entrance of the exhibition center, and restored in 2017, will host an exhibition, lectures and talks with architects during the whole week.

The Pavillon de L’Esprit Nouveau, rebuilt in Bologna

Bologna Design Week will occupy the city center with Le Cinque Piazze, a co-design and self-construction workshop aimed at the temporary reconfiguration of the public space of Bologna university area. This project is curated by Fondazione Innovazione Urbana, Dipartimento di Architettura dell’Università di Bologna, Fondazione Rusconi, in collaboration with Comune di Bologna and with the participation of BDW and Viabizzuno.

Design Night, Bologna Design Week 2018, foto Giacomo Maestri.

The initiative will see the participation of galleries and showrooms such as Ultradesign, which will present The Cassina Perspective.Tra innovazione e icone. On September 24th, at 7 pm, the showroom will host Rodolfo Dordoni, who will present his new design for Cassina, a haute-couture sofa.

DressUp, by Rodolfo Dordoni for Cassina

In the spaces of Marsala District, an exhibition on Brazilian traditional design will be curated by Brazil S/A and Tania Campos Berni. Moreover, the renowned store Paradiso Terrestre will host an installation by Ceramica Bardelli.

For further information please visit

Read also Famous Bathrooms exhibition at Cersaie 2019


Neolith is the perfect partner for the Cédric Grolet patisserie

The 'Maître Pâtissier' Cédric Grolet is a very talented chef, who has been awarded several prizes for his patisserie, including the Gault Millau Pâtissier of the Year and the Best Pastry Chef by 50 Best, in 2019. Take a look at his Paris apartment, featuring Neolith sintered stone.

'Rubik's Cube' cake, by Cédric Grolet

A pupil of Christophe Adam, (former pastry chef at Fauchon), and Alain Ducasse, Grolet is renowned for his iconographic patisserie, which includes cake shapes from Rubik's Cube, or desserts replicating perfectly the freshly picked fruit.

Cèdric Grolet cake, replica of a sliced apple. Photo François Guillemin

Neolith, a material perfect for the kitchen

Creativity and accuracy typical of his patisserie set the standard for his recently refurbished Parisian apartment. The main role, of course, is played by the kitchen, the space where Cédric Grolet can express his talent.

Kitchen in Cèdric Grolet's apartment, with walls and counters by Neolith Estatuario Silk. Photo François Guillemin

To feel free to work without any kind of worries, Grolet went in search of a hygienic, anti-bacterial, stain-resistant, scratch-resistant and wear-resistant kitchen top material.

Kitchen in Cèdric Grolet's apartment, with walls and counters by Neolith Estatuario Silk. Photo François Guillemin

Neolith sintered stone proved to be perfect to fulfil these requirements, with no porosity and easy cleaning, and the selected finish, Estatuario Silk (Silk Statue), features a neutral colour, the perfect background for Instagram pictures.

Kitchen in Cèdric Grolet's apartment, with walls and counters by Neolith Estatuario Silk. Photo François Guillemin

Neolith fits perfectly into the interior architecture of Cédric Grolet's apartment, thanks to its harmonious contrast with the light wooden floors, the limestone walls and the pure white woodworking of the boiserie.

Kitchen in Cèdric Grolet's apartment, with walls and counters by Neolith Estatuario Silk. Photo François Guillemin

The skill of Jules Léger, from Marbrerie Contemporaine, created the wall panelling, as well as the work island counter with the hob, and the counter with the washing area. The result is an elegant and sober style, essential, with no need to add any decoration.

Kitchen in Cèdric Grolet's apartment. Photo François Guillemin

Neolith white Calacatta for stylish bathrooms

The Calacatta Polished finishing has been used for the large top with integrated washbasin, which completes the master bedroom, as a backdrop enlightening the room, creating a movie set atmosphere, essential yet dramatic.

Finally, the sintered stone Neolith Iron Frost is the perfect background for the open walk-in shower in the guest room: here the whiteness of the material highlights the clean lines of the furniture.

Walk-in shower in Cèdric Grolet's apartment, with walls panelling by Neolith Iron Frost. Photo François Guillemin