Tour the Incredible 1930s and 40s Gio Ponti Interiors Hidden in a 13th-Century Italian University

Between 1934 and 1942, Gio Ponti decorated numerous rooms inside Palazzo Bo — home to the University of Padua, founded in the 13th century — creating one of his most important works in interior design. In fact, the 1940s were critical for Ponti's transformation from his previous styles of Novecento Italiano and Rationalism toward softer mid-century design, which became his trademark after the Second World War. Click through to tour this seminal work with Okolo's Adam Štěch.
More

Vaspaar, an Up-and-Coming Digital Design Gallery, Looks at Collecting As an Act of Preservation

For Kaisha Davierwalla and Andrea Grecucci, the Milan-based designers who run the digital gallery Vaspaar, the art of collecting amounts to more than simple acquisition. It’s not merely about possessing a beautiful material object — though Vaspaar offers plenty of those — but an act of preservation. Whether that’s preserving “something from the passing of time, or as a token of memory, a symbolic representation of an era, or the significance of an object and the emotions involved,” they explain, “we look at the act of collecting from both a deeply academic viewpoint and also from how personally we tend to get attached to these pieces.”
More

This Italian Furniture Brand Made a Clever Trompe L’Oeil Table, Then Shot It in a Carlo Mollino Masterpiece

January saw the introduction of an interesting new expression of trompe l'oeil, in the form of Saba Italia’s Teatro Magico table by 967 Arch, a dining table whose sinuous polyurethane base echoes the form of theater curtains and can part like them, too. The brand coincided the launch with the reopening, after a two-year renovation, of Turin’s Teatro Regio, whose Carlo Mollino–designed interior contains its own multitude of visual illusions.
More

A Tacchini Reissue Proves Tobia Scarpa’s Very First Chair Is Still One of His Best

As a designer, you may have been taught to always explore beyond your initial hunch — that, not unlike the "bad pancake" theory of dating, your first idea will never be your best. And yet history offers a wealth of exceptions to that rule, including Tobia Scarpa's iconic 1959 Pigreco chair, the first furniture piece he ever designed that, having recently been reissued by Tacchini, endures to this day.
More

The Vintage Furniture Dealer Whose Aesthetic Runs From Bauhaus to Beetlejuice

Gennaro Leone, who runs the vintage furniture shop Spazio Leone in London, is clearly devoted to the cult of '70s and '80s Italian design. But he’s also drawn to pieces that seem to exist in a dream-zone where Art Deco–meets-Postmodernism and Surrealist motifs, along with a hint of Delia Deetz (that's Catherine O’Hara’s sculptor stepmom in Beetlejuice, for anyone who needs a refresher). In the short time that Leone's been up and running, the dealer has developed an aesthetic that could even be described — as he himself puts it — as “WTF is this? I’m trying to find a balance between crazy shapes and comfortable things.
More

8 Must-See Projects From This Year’s Venice Design Biennial

After a year of visiting virtual exhibitions, it’s a joy to finally start venturing out IRL again. Where I am here in Italy, things really began to pick up speed last week with the opening of the Venice Biennale, which always brings with it a slew of contemporaneous projects — one of which being the Venice Design Biennial, now in its third year. Curated by Venice Art Factory’s Luca Berta and Francesca Giubilei, this year’s theme was "Design as a Self Portrait" and featured work that spoke, loosely, to the notion of self-representation in design.
More

Marco Campardo and the Marta Gallery Founders On Obsessive YouTubing, Failed Projects, and the Importance of Craftsmanship in Design

Considering the Italian designer Marco Campardo’s long friendship with Marta Gallery founders Benjamin Critton and Heidi Korsavong — as well as the trio’s shared interest in a multidisciplinary approach — we decided to go Interview Magazine–style with this Q&A and allow the three room to riff on ideas about collaboration, identity, and digital representation in design.
More

High-End Editorial Set Design, But Make It Cuddly

For its March issue, the Italian magazine Icon Design came up with an amusing way of spotlighting one of the pandemic's unsung heroes — the pets keeping us sane during lockdown — by pairing high-end set designs by stylist Greta Cevenini with portraits of eight dogs belonging to influential Italians. It's genius, because how many of us feel like luxury design is relevant to our lives at this exact moment? But make it cuddly, and it's a whole other story.
More

If You’re Looking for a New Set of Flatware, Your Search Stops Here

When I first set out to do this story, it was purely for selfish reasons: I was looking to replace a now out-of-stock Ikea flatware set (with bizarrely tiny forks) that I'd purchased as a cheap placeholder years ago. Why not share the results of my search? For fun, I polled some design friends on Instagram and that's when the floodgates opened. You guys. I had no idea people had so many opinions about flatware.
More
Italian interiors stylist Greta Cevenini

Meet Greta Cevenini, The Best Italian Interiors Stylist You’ve Never Heard Of

Greta Cevenini has been quietly circling behind the scenes of the Italian design world for the past few years, styling lookbooks for Spotti and cc-tapis and envisioning spreads for Icon Design; she most recently took the helm for Cassina’s new catalogue, which was released during Salone. Her work is quiet — cool and rich with light-touch visual references well before they become ubiquitous, leaning more on texture and subtle color variations rather than dramatic, scene-stealing statements.
More