Federica Biasi, from artisanal touch to industrial product

Italian designer Federica Biasi is named by Nendo as one of 25 creative leaders of the future for Wallpaper’s 25th Anniversary Issue ‘5x5’ project. Her work merges craft inspirations with industrial processes

‘Timo’ chair, by Federica Biasi. Two straight backed armchairs covered with cream fabric.
‘Timo’ chair, by Federica Biasi, for La Cividina
(Image credit: press)

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 (opens in new tab) and objects are defined by calm lines and well-considered proportions, subdued palettes and soft contours. 

Federica Biasi kneeling on the floor on a white sheet with the ‘Lume’ collection of cups and saucers that were designed for Nespresso

Federica Biasi with the ‘Lume’ collection for Nespresso

(Image credit: press)

‘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

Chair by Federica biasi for Gallotti e Radice with soft forms in beige

‘Livre’ for Gallotti e Radice. 

(Image credit: Matteo Imbriani)

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 (opens in new tab) 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.’

‘Rue’ candleholder for Mingardo.

‘Rue’ candleholder for Mingardo.

(Image credit: Matteo Imbriani)

‘Wabi Sabi’ tiles for Decoratori Bassanesi

‘Wabi Sabi’ tiles for Decoratori Bassanesi

(Image credit: press)

Two frosted glass cups with pink liquid and a small spoon inside one of them

‘Oleum’, in collaboration with Nason Moretti for Wallpaper* Handmade 2018

(Image credit: press)

Simple bench with a black leather seat.

‘Uma’ bench for Lema

(Image credit: press)

INFORMATION

federicabiasi.com (opens in new tab)

A version of this article appears in Wallpaper’s October 2021, 25th Anniversary Issue (opens in new tab) (W*270), on newsstands now and available to subscribers – 12 digital issues for $12/£12/€12 (opens in new tab).

Meet more creative leaders of the future nominated by Nendo here.

Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.