Well known for his work around product strategy and new materials, since the year 2000 Gabriele Pezzini has put a lot of effort into prospective research exhibitions. These shows are an essential part of his activity as a creator, since they enable him to fine tune his analyses of our perception of everyday objects and the ways in which typologies cross over. In parallel to his mass-produced products, he designs one-off pieces for them that express the subtle conceptual shifts he initiates by design. This thorough-going approach to creation has grown out of his career, which has taken a new turn since his recent appointment as design manager in the general art department of the House of Hermès.
‘Sunny Day Bench’ solo bench seat
This one-seater bench invites its user to lie back with arms outstretched in a generous attitude. In doing so it expresses a typically human dilemma: being alone amidst other people. Suggesting perhaps that we can still share our presence in an individualistic world.
One-off piece produced for the ‘OPEN YOUR MIND’ exhibition (Milan – April 2005). Art directors Pezzini / Shin Azumi.
Maker: Union Corporation (2005)
‘Plag in’ wall candle
Even a slight movement can strip an object of its usual meaning, and renew its connotations. Here the stereotype of the power point is used as a simple wall-mounting system for a candle light. The candle flame function is lost and found in a single mechanical sequence: the socket gives support and the candle sheds light.
‘Plag in’ was designed for ‘The Future of Manufacturing ‘ show at the Milan furniture fair 2003. Commissioner : Gabriele Pezzini
Maker: Viabizzuno (2005)
‘Monkey wrench’ spanner
This DIY piece draws together fork and spanner, questioning our familiarity with these objects and their functions in a new reading imposed by design, amid cultural overlaps.
The way the hand grasps both these tools is almost identical, but as archetypes they refer to values (dirty work context and dainty eating) that are separate, but united here in the same questioning of primary function. The transposition makes both these objects ‘remarkable’, even though none of us pays much attention to their forms and functions any more. Two layers of meaning pass within the design process, from the image of objects to their representation and their reality.
‘Monkey Wrench’ was designed for ‘The Future of Manufacturing ‘ show at the Milan furniture fair 2003. Commissioner : Gabriele Pezzini
Maker: DSM Somos (2003)
‘Wild Glass’ sponge tumbler
The ‘Wild glass’ activates a cultural and historical clash, suggesting an unusual manner of drinking. Fist exertion reminds us of urban violence, with perhaps a crossover between spirituality and corporality: the sponge lifted to Christ dying on the cross, or the one used by marathon runners in their self-afflicted ordeal.
Maker: Pandora Design 2006
Gabriele Pezzini is a designer who trained in art and whose work weaves between research and industrial production. He started out as consultant designer and design manager for the French firm Allibert and set up his own office in Milan in 1999. His work focused on product strategies, new materials and applied technologies before moving more into the area of research exhibitions – shows that enable him to fine tune his analyses and theories of our perception of everyday objects and the ways in which typologies cross over. He has lectured at the Politecnico in Milan, at the school of Fine Arts in Saint-Etienne, and at the Rhode Island Institute in Providence (USA). He has just taken up a post as design manager with the House of Hermès.