Visionnaire continues along a path of sustainable growth, focusing on the fundamental values of the brand: responsibility, ethics, hard work and the absolute quality implied by the Made in Italy mark. On an urgent course to create beautifully crafted products that combine concept with a rigorously responsible commitment to respect the environment, the brand’s desire is to safeguard our natural heritage and engender a vital awareness that informs and orients the Visionnaire house’s cultural vision.
The research and development division began to address the theme of sustainability with Visionnaire’s Greenery collection in 2017. Starting with products that come into closest contact with people – sofas and beds – these projects were aimed at creating increasingly natural, healthy spaces that embody principles of respect for the environment and animals. ‘Over the last three years, we have chosen to offer our clients the opportunity to choose from about twenty products in the catalogue made with alternative procedures, making a break from conventional production practices, explains Eleonore Cavalli, Art Director of Visionnaire. ‘For example, the Bastian sofa, one of our leading upholstered pieces, is offered in a version with support systems made with jute, getting away from the petroleum-based elastic belting, while the padding is done with bio-based expansion procedures. Rather than down filler, we have proposed materials like kapoc, hemp, cotton, wool, andthe pillows are filled with seeds (millet hulls, flax seeds). For the coverings, we now utilize natural fibers derived from linen, wool, cotton or other sources, woven with controlled processes and colored with vegetable dyes; for the leathers, as an alternative to chromium tanning (white-blue) we propose tanning without chemical or metal additives, done with vegetable dyes (white-white).’
This regard and respect for nature and responsibility to the environment is embodied in Visionnaire’s Garden of Beauty, a ‘metaluxury’ project that celebrates the convergence between art and design. Central to the project is designer Marc Ange’s plumage-fanning ‘Throne Pavone’ chair hot from its show-stopping, tropically hued installation at Visionnaire’s Biscayne Boulevard showroom during Design Miami.
Inspired by a trip to India and the unusual behavior and unique presence of the subcontinent’s indigenous species of peacock, Marc Ange created a capsule collection that is an ode to the romantic and seductive beauty of the animal. ‘The peacock does not possess natural weapons to protect itself and to fight for its survival. Instead, the peacock chooses to show the stunning plumage of its tail when facing danger – an emblem of its extreme beauty.’
The Throne Pavone has a similarly confronting extreme beauty. A leather / velvet seat at the centre of a paradisiacal corolla of multicoloured brass elements, the metallic, blue / green ‘petals’ composing the arms and the chair back are casted using the manual technique of ‘in sabbia’, welded onto the body and individually hand polished. ‘Our manufacturing verifies and affirms the idea of a repeatable uniqueness,’ explains Eleonore Cavalli. ‘A singularity that multiplies by keeping intact in each copy the same charge of quality and value.’
Now the whole ‘Il Pavone’ collection is on show at Visionnaire’s Milan showroom, its colours and materials illuminated by Gupica’s leafy and floral lighting installation, echoing and adding to the maison’s current Garden of Beauty theme. This new Art Design collection, explains Eleonore Cavalli, employs the exceptional artistic talents of designers, ‘almost ‘Renaissance’ personalities’ whose focus is experimentation with materials. Accordingly, Gupica’s family of lamps – Aracea (named after a family of monocotyledonous flowering plants) is an innovative and romantic project that combines modern lighting function (ultra slim LEDs) with the subtle, elegant lines of botanical forms. The lamps are available in the floor-to-ceiling and suspension models.
Other highlights are Alessandro La Spada’s new table, Arkady, which continues Visionnaire’s naturalistic beauty theme. Made from a slab of Levantine Crema Marfil stone the table is hand crafted to add unique bas-relief workmanship, irregular borders and residual elements of resin and Himalayan salt. Legs are in metal, moulded in sand to create a three-dimensional pattern with a hammered’ effect that suggest certain animalier overtones.
Visionnaire’s new collaboration with design duo Draga&Aurel is presented as a capsule collection. Amos is a true jewel of a table: two metal supports, shaped by moulding in sand for a lunar effect, embrace the concrete base, poured into a reinforced form and subjected to an exclusive erosion technique. The lower ‘Lego’ table and console are a similar contrasting combination of two materials, treated with different finishes: precious and ‘raw.’ The glowing gold of the metal and the matte black of the concrete. Sputnik lamps are made of multiple rhomboidal parts that produce an metallic ‘origami’ effect, surfaces reflecting light and casting theatrical shadows all around.
The architect Mauro Lipparini presents domestic storage and display as elegantly considered paneling. Shunning standardisation and embracing distant influences from the powerful, elegant traditions of the African universe Lipparini's contemporary boiseries in Frisé Eucalyptus are beautiful, functional and configurable, with alternating volumes of double depth, surrounded by concave and convex components.
At the centre of Mauro Lipparini’s showroom installation, the Desmond breaks all the rules of traditional sideboard design. The central element in Eucalyptus Frisè wood acts as a pillar for the suspended glass volumes, furnishing the composition with a feeling of lightness and translucence.
For the upholstered pieces, Donovan by La Conca is a seating program with remarkably modular contemporary design. Available in the ‘square’ version with squared armrests and the “roll” version with a cylindrical armrest. In the ‘square’ model the modular sofa is arranged with double depth: an ample traditional seat and an ulterior space on the base behind the back, equipped with small bookcase modules clad in leather with shelves in metal and glass, and courtesy trays in marble with leather frames. Douglas is the new sofa designed by La Spada, featuring borders of curved metal in the base that virtually borrow a part of the padding of the armrest. The Douglas sofa is covered in Nabuk leather, while its cushions and daybed are in Banksy, one of the new Visionnaire fabrics, featuring a sort ‘teddy bear’ effect. The Douglas collection also includes an armchair, a love seat, an ottoman and a low table.
The Petra armchair by Alessandro La Spada presents a semi-circular padded shell, upholstered in Bansky velvet with the new ‘plush’ effect, in verde ramareggiato colourway. The continuity of the curve of the backrest is interrupted in the central part by the insertion of a vertical metal element creating a full / empty effect. The architect Marco Piva presents the Admeto coffee table, a combination of various contrasting but perfectly juxtaposed materials, for a composition that is almost an architectural archetype, but modern and functional at the same time: the legs in marble with ‘striped’ workmanship, contribute to convey an impression of monumental character, contradicted by the transparency and lightness of the top in smoked glass.