Six years back the ‘Match’ transistor radio was selected to serve as the gift-object and symbol of the Saint-Etienne International Design Bienniale 2002. Made by AreaPlus, distributed by Muji and Habitat, published in the Design Year Book 2007, by its longevity ‘Match’ confirms Pezzini’s approach, which proceeds by subtle functional shifts. Since then the designer has applied the same strategy to other everyday object typologies.

‘Molletta’ nutcracker
Here Pezzini has taken a banal object – a laundry peg – and turned it into another, a nut cracker, simply by shifting the fulcrum from centre to tip and enlarging.
The solution is so obvious that it needs no commentary, which is not to say the nutcracker will do what the peg did.

Maker: AreaPlus (2007

“Match Radio”
This transistor uses its own size constraints. The battery box ,  which is usually dissimulated due to lack of style value, is elevated to the same rank as the other parts. Its extruded aluminium shell forms practically the entire body of the radio and gives it a distinctive look. The finishing touch is the pull-out antenna, which doubles as carry handle.

Maker: AreaPlus (2001)

Ceramic range “ICY Collection”
Fired clay – a quality material – is used here on a range of objects that would ordinarily be made of plastic. Inversely, the ICY collection simplifies perception of functionality.

Maker: AreaPlus (2007)

Torch “Double”
This flashlight, which is on sale at the Moma Shop, is an all-round utility piece. Depending on needs, the ‘Double’ serves as stand lamp or flashlight. Its clean lines, which recall a 60s lampshade, qualify it as a décor object to be left in view rather than put away in drawer or glove-box, thus avoiding unpleasant moments of rummaging, as in the event of an emergency.

Maker: AreaPlus (2003)

‘Flat’ reading light & bookmark
This is one of the best-sellers for AreaPlus, no doubt because of its downright usefulness. ‘Flat’ is a flexible bookmark with a built-in reading light that slips in and out of your book as you journey thru the night.

Maker: AreaPlus (2001)

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.