The devil is in the details at Luca Cipelletti’s Rome solo show
Do not make a mistake and pigeonhole Luca Cipelletti. The Milan-based architect, designer and museologist’s prolific output just seems to grow exponentially each year. Recent commissions such as Milan’s Museum of Science and Technology, the Bitossi Museum-Archive and the forthcoming Museum of Contemporary Art in Rimini all involve the multifaceted working on a grand scale, but for his latest exhibition at Galleria Giustini / Stagetti in Rome, it’s all about the details.
‘The pieces are part of a design project focused on the perception of the angle and the deduction of material,’ explains Cipelletti of the project, which encompasses a series of razor sharp-edged tables, two-legged side consoles and desks. The collection, entitled XYZ, is the product of a rigorous year-and-a-half-long study Cipelletti conducted in his Milan studio, mastering the slimmest rendering possible for a wooden table. He landed on an internal structural tie that allowed him to manipulate the table’s dimensions so they appear almost 2D when viewed in person, which the designer describes as ‘the cancellation of the three spatial coordinates, XYZ.’
Corner Table, by Luca Cipelletti, from the XYZ Collection. Photography: Henrik Blomqvist. Courtesy Giustini / Stagetti, Roma
‘The structural system, internal and invisible, is built on the three axes of physical space to achieve the minimum thickness and weight of the material,’ Cipelletti describes of the process that went into creating the new joints. ‘This unique design of [the] metal three-way internal structure is able to support table surfaces up to 350 centimetres in length. This work on the structure makes the material look like blades, showing the spatial concept of the project: the meeting of the three axes – XYZ – in one point.’
Console, by Luca Cipelletti, from the XYZ Collection, 2018. Wall Lamp Mod.190 by Vittoriano Viganò (1951) for Arteluce. Photography: Omar Golli. Courtesy Giustini / Stagetti, Roma
Originally launched at 2018’s Salone del Mobile and accompanied by an essay from design curator Maria Cristina Didero, this latest iteration at Galleria Giustini / Stagetti highlights the project’s infinite adaptability. ‘We decided to open the possibilities of the material as much as possible,’ explains Cipelletti when asked about material choice, ‘not to make a specific choice was actually a choice.’ Clients are able to customise pieces according to their own specifications. The structural organisation allows for multiple types of wood in any number of different sizes.
The collection is shown alongside a series of lamps by Italian midcentury masters Gino Sarfatti, Vittoriano Viganò and Franco Albini, chosen by Cipelletti for their early influence on his design aesthetic. ‘All of them are my “maestro”,’ he explains of the curation, ‘they were working in a very special time in Italy for architecture, when the approach to the project was multidisciplinary with no boundaries between product design, architecture and urban design.’ §