Federica Biasi, from artisanal touch to industrial product
Federica Biasi is one of the rising stars of contemporary Italian design. She set up her studio in Milan in 2015, after graduating from the European Institute of Design in 2011. She has worked between Milan and Amsterdam for clients including Tom Dixon, Gallotti & Radice, Potocco, and CC-Tapis, also serving as art director of metalwork workshop Mingardo since 2017. An industrial designer with a focus on craftsmanship and an interest in traditional objects and their functions, her furniture and objects are defined by calm lines and well-considered proportions, subdued palettes and soft contours.
‘Her lean, soft and sophisticated forms somehow remind me of Japanese design elegance,’ comments Nendo’s Oki Sato, who identified her as one of 25 creative leaders of the future in Wallpaper’s 25th anniversary ‘5x5’ project. ‘In addition to products with a high degree of balance and perfection, her art direction and interior styling suggests very mature design skills. I sometimes imagine that she has a cockpit in her back with an elder designer inside.’
Design between craftsmanship and industrial processes
Spanning multiple materials, functions and media, Biasi’s projects have included office furniture systems and social distancing screens for Italian company Manerba; ‘Timo’ chairs for La Cividina; woven baskets for leather specialist Rabitti 1969; imaginative glassware for Wallpaper* Handmade in collaboration with Nason Moretti; shelving and a pendant lamp for Mingardo; and a series of inviting armchairs and sofas for Gallotti & Radice. ‘I don’t have a favourite material: each one has great potential if you get to know it,’ she says. ‘At the moment, I prefer working with wood, glass, ceramics: all materials in which tactility can be enhanced through processing and textures.’
Her affinity for artisanal techniques and industrial processes culminated in her ‘Lume’ collection for Nespresso. Biasi’s reinterpretation of traditional Italian coffee cups combines a geometric approach with soft lines, and features a smooth, matt white porcelain finish with a contrasting shining red ochre saucer in frosted glass. The collection also includes a glass capsule dispenser and candleholder, exemplifying Biasi’s ease in working across materials and techniques. She says: ‘I like it when an artisanal touch turns into an industrial product. I like studying the object and imagining the process that will make it accessible to everyone.’ §