THE TIMELESS SPIRIT OF FIAM’S GLASS: AN ENCOUNTER AMONG MATERIALS, DESIGN AND CREATIVITY
Fiam Italia represents the encounter among ideas and materials, between craftsmanship and innovation, in a sum of the parts that becomes the medium of a story, a narration that moves beyond the tangible and investigates the meaning of design, the emotions related to beauty and the awareness about corporate responsibility and the significance of solidarity. An attitude that projects Fiam’s creations and the internationally renowned designers with whom the company collaborates in a harmonious combination, bringing them together in a dialogue made of passion and emotional intelligence.
With its new 2019 collections, Fiam introduces a series of objects, including tables, which represent the focus of daily actions, whether they are at the hearth of the house or the fulcrum of working activity. At the tables we meet, sit down and gather, outlining a space and a moment dedicated to voices, ideas, feelings and productiveness, theatre of moments that revolve about present and future. A future that is more and more defined by the here and now, rethinking the entire cycle of the production chain – from planning to final consumption – to embrace a philosophy based on sustainability. Fiam Italia since its establishment has worked with glass, one of the lowest environmental impact materials in the furniture sector, composed exclusively of natural elements and entirely recyclable, thus becoming the ambassador for a truly sustainable approach, facilitating the transition of architecture and design industry towards a new virtuous model, the Circular Economy, also thanks to the constant research it conducts and which allows to patent and develop new production processes, such as the DV Glass® introduced at the 2018 Milan Furniture Fair.
This path of attention, listening and analysis, develops around glass as a material that is increasingly alive and up-to-date, in a triumph of colors and textures that takes on a strong sensory appearance, showing it as a warm and tactile material, which lends itself to being thought outside of the box and able to fascinate us all with transparencies, opacity, roughness and unexpected nuances. The result is therefore a cosmogony of influences, references and ideas that for Milan Furniture Fair 2019 has resulted in a collection that alternates volumes, lights and surfaces.
Japanese designer duo Setsu&Shinobu Ito designed the Kighi table, a combination of multiple elements inspired by nature, creating a base that transforms itself from a functional support into a highly decorative motif. The glass top, enriched by metallic shades, is supported by a structure that through the combination of the individual elements recalls the overlapping of trees, creating a forest of vertical lines. The reference lies in the name of the product itself, Kighi, the ideogram that illustrates this harmonious superimposition of signs, in an expressive reference to the peace of forests, where light and shadow alternate in an ecosystem capable of generating life. The top is suspended on seven symbolic branches – a number that in the most ancient cultures expresses through numerology a perfect balance – which recall the Oriental sensitivity towards nature, particularly in Japan, the country of Shintoism and where Shirin-Yoku, the practice of going into the forests to immerse themselves in their beneficial atmosphere, was born.
Theo, designed by Simone Bonanni, is a proposal that experiments with the volumes of the base, transforming the support of the table into a sculpture. A hymn to three-dimensionality generated by a process of graphic synthesis and the research of the balance between full and empty spaces, through “theatrical settings” made of metal, which delimit the space and frame the air. The use of high temperature fused glass enriches with light, colours and refractions an essential architecture, in which the combination of transparencies, lightness and depth contrasts with the monolithic solidity of the glass top.
The inspiration and the creativity of glass moves then its focus from the base to the top with Coral Beach by Mac Stopa, which combines design, furniture and passion for graphics in an aesthetic discipline, capable of communicating its fascination for mathematics and geometry through modular elements, sculpture and digital art. The organic and perfect shapes of nature and modern architectural design inspire Coral Beach, building a synergy between traditional artisanship and avant-garde methods, such as 3D printing, in order to create a table whose surface recalls marine landscapes and in particular the encounter on the shoreline of water and sand, in a moment determined by the succession of perpetual movements.
The tactile dimension is also strongly expressed in the coffee tables Cannage by Emmanuel Gallina, which take shape from the idea of modelling and manufacturing glass to give it the effect of Vienna’s straw weaving. It is a tribute to handicraft and traditional savoir-faire that represents the cultural sensibility of historical research and the versatility of a design that – with multiple references – recalls weaved threads, the mysterious charm of mashrabiyya, the complexity of webbing and the delicacy of knitting, creating contemporary products with an ancient feeling. The imprint of glass processing, characterized by textures from the collective history, is combined with the solid wood base, projecting Cannage in the warm and intimate atmosphere of our memory and our homes.
Glass manufacturing reaches new dimensions in the coffee tables Lakes, a collection designed by Studio Klass capable of creating optical illusions that recall unique thicknesses through the protagonism of fused glass, a material treated by designers Marco Maturo and Alessio Roscini almost as if it were liquid. Material in which reflections and transparencies alternate, exalted by the rounded edges and opposed to the minimal metal structure, on which the round top rests, evoking shape and quiet elegance of a fresh water pond. Studio Klass has also expanded for Fiam the Hype project, introducing new dimensions for the extendible table and a desk, a console and a coffee table, exploring the new product categories in their various expressions and proportions, designing them to create a common thread within the collection and make the contrast between hand-crafted fused glass and the numerically controlled steel base even more graphic and distinctive. 2019 also sees the introduction of Easy Lloyd, a second informal and minimalist proposal of the Lloyd leather chair, suitable for domestic and corporate environments but still retaining the distinctive character of the wood graft, a technical and decorative element that connects the seat to the backrest.
Ludovica + Roberto Palomba explore new solutions within the Waves collection, a family of tables and coffee tables made with the innovative DV Glass® to obtain objects with a deeply three-dimensional design. The ambition for a total living project characterized by the use of this glassy material, finds its natural evolution in new configurations, as the round top Big Wave, conceived also in the version that contrasts the elements of the glass base with a top in Canaletto walnut, and the new Waves console, that offers the beauty of its overlapped glass capturing the eye of the observer and inviting to the touch.
The proposal of consoles as furnishing elements, in which the table is converted from a central presence to a support and display unit for the most different environments, is also enriched with the introduction of Lunar by Matteo Nunziati. Inspired by the lesson of Carlo Mollino and his anthropomorphic design, in which the sign is unmistakable and characterized by sinuous lines, the top is defined by a texture with a rhomboidal pattern, a silky surface elegantly supported by filiform metal legs but with a strong and recognizable personality. The inspiration was taken from the shape of the LEM, the lunar module of the Apollo missions, creating an aesthetic and engineering reference to the structures that support the space capsules.
Next to tables, consoles and coffee tables, within the 2019 collection we find mirrors, often imagined rigid and inflexible in their form as in their function, but for Fiam Italia representing a creative opportunity where furniture, wonder and technological ingenuity meet.
Marcel Wanders presents his Pop collection in a back-silvered bronze glass finish, while Philippe Starck introduce a new Caadre, which embraces the power of reflection and declines it into unexpected shades, transforming the reflective surface into a moment that welcomes the human gesture and elevates it to a decorative motif, building by abstraction a poetical discovery of the unknown and opening a window made of light and figures.
The new projects include the mirror Kathleen designed by Davide Oppizzi, who plays with light as an element that enhances the glass and makes it the protagonist. Kathleen is an ode to the solar ideal of beauty of the 60s, embodied by the actress Audrey Hepburn and translated in a contemporary aesthetic key through the use of fused glass and the corolla that surrounds the mirror. The self-supporting metal structure with its soft champagne tones is combined with the frame of the mirrors, backlit and adorned with three-dimensional rays, to reveal the smallest details and at the same time illuminate the wall on which they lean.
The proposals for Milan Furniture Fair 2019 are completed by the bedside table Dino, designed by CRS Fiam and created with the need to redefine the furnishing accessory par excellence of the sleeping area through the use of curved glass, transparencies and lacquers.
The novelties of Fiam Italia therefore express the desire to enhance Fiam’s technical and experimental skills at the service of the designers’ artistic and functional research, transforming modeling and crafting processes – which require manual precision, skills and patience – into an aesthetic result that helps to create sinuous lines, unusual roughness and exceptional volumes through a material – glass – that never stops communicating great elegance and a timeless spirit.
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