There is a gallery in Milan that does not only talk about collectible design during Design Week, but makes it its mission throughout the year. Caselli 11-12, in the Porta Nuova area, is perhaps one of the first galleries in Italy to support and promote emerging designers focused on collectible. We are talking about contemporary collectible design, the unique, handcrafted piece that blurs the boundary between art and design. Although they are to all intents and purposes functional and therefore ‘design’ products, characteristics such as uniqueness and craftsmanship, as well as a strong creative aspect, tend to bring them closer and closer to works of art. In Europe, as in the United States, the design world is increasingly embracing this approach, especially from a renewable perspective, choosing reused and eco-materials. Italy seems to appreciate it, or rather, to place it at the centre of attention only during certain specific occasions, such as this year at Alcova, during the Fuorisalone.
Returning to Caselli 11-12, we were surprised to discover the existence of such a well-defined and projected reality in this specific category of design, but what struck us even more was the target audience of the chosen designers. They are all young, emerging and international. We discovered some of them during a visit to their second exhibition – MAKERS 2, which we have already wrote about – which was extended due to its great success. The designers are always invited by the gallery to think about new approaches, reinterpreting unconventional materials in a functional way. For example, the historical space hosts seats made of wax and resin-coated cardboard, precarious and mutable, introducing the concept of the temporary.
Talking to them, they tell us that Caselli 11-12 originates from OLTREFRONTIERA PROGETTI, a design and architecture studio operating in the retail and visual sector since 1993. “In thirty years, we have acquired expertise in all the materials and related technologies on the market; in fact, we have often had to invent them by conducting major experiments. There is so much passion in research, innovation and experimentation. So why not finalise this know-how also for non-industrial objects?” – they tell us – “We realised, observing cities such as New York, London and Paris, that a certain type of public increasingly wants to own special, tailor-made products, made from the most diverse materials and with artisanal or innovative technologies.“
Ph Credits Andrés Juan Suarez