TEHRAN (Iranart) - I talian décor and furniture designer, creative director and traveler Gian Paolo Venier, who bases concrete tableware on ancient Iranian architecture, plans to show his new collection at this year’s Salone del Mobile furniture fair in Milan from April 17-22.
Venier’s new collection of tableware, available in two shades of light grey and anthracite, is inspired by a postcard showing Tughrul Tower, a 12th-century monument located in Rey County, Tehran Province.
Titled ‘Siman,’ after the Persian term for concrete, the collection of pleated tableware has traits of ancient Iranian architecture, Dezeen.com wrote.
With this architectural style in mind, Venier focused the collection on the idea of “building up a functional landscape”, designing the series in a way that the items collectively look like ancient ruins or an archeological site.
“The seven pieces carry a strong architectural character and act as little structures populating interior landscapes, with a highly graphic and timeless personality,” the designer said.
Venier often combines his background in architecture with his keen interests in history and travel as the starting point of his work.
This initial reference, be it a piece of architecture, design or a material texture, is then “hacked” and “diverted” to develop a new narrative, he said.
Made up of a cake stand, candle-holders, dishes and a vase, the main feature of each item in the Siman collection is its pleated surface, which creates an “ever-changing game of shadows and depths”.
In addition to each piece being made from concrete, Venier tried to emulate the poor preservation of Tughrul Tower by leaving each object without any surface finishing or polishing.
First, Venier hand-crafted draft models using clay, which were then transformed into three-dimensional digital illustrations using ‘Rhino’ modeling software.
He then sent the 3D illustrations to the Brignetti Longoni design studio in Milan, which specializes in 3D printing, where they are made into objects using HIPS (high impact polystyrene).
The objects were then sent to Urbi Et Orbi—a specialist concrete studio in Greece—where they were used to create silicone moulds that were finally used to cast the concrete pieces. The resulted collection is a mix of tradition and innovation, incorporating both age-old clay molding techniques and modern 3D printing.
“We like the fact that the design process started from the very humble and ancient material and technique of clay molding, to then go through a highly technological phase with the use of 3D computing and 3D printing, and to end up as a collection that is made from a very rough and old material–concrete–which was used in ancient Rome as a building material,” said Venier’s studio.