Craftsmanship, Irony and Compositional Rigor

Moooi's new collection of coffee tables signed Simone Bonanni

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Craftsmanship, Irony and Compositional Rigor
4/01/2019 - Obon is the new collection of coffee tables by Moooi, designed by Simone Bonanni. Inspired by an ancient, earthy and irregular material like terracotta, the set results from a patient process of combining shapes and volumes, craftsmanship and compositional rigor. Obon, design by Simone Bonanni

Obon, design by Simone Bonanni

The designer’s own candid story of the birth of his new project offers an interesting retrospective which helps capture the essential quality of the product: Obon, design by Simone Bonanni

Obon, design by Simone Bonanni

The initial idea was not to design a set of three small living room tables – this was more of a consequence’, Simon explains. ‘Originally my objective was to flavor Moooi’s world with a touch of craftsmanship, a product which seemed hand-made and appeared beautiful without bells and whistles. This approach in some ways felt like a challenge. The choice to design a set of coffee tables was then born spontaneously. It simply felt like the category of products which would afford me the greatest range of movement in the planning phase – a good blank canvass on which to experiment.


 

It represents in fact a pure but irregular graphic design, born of a process of simplification of shapes and forms. ‘I immediately thought that these products would need to be very simple in their shapes, but rich in their materials, without visible technical details, soft and defined by reassuring profiles. This is how I imagined the Obon series from the outset, halfway between irony and rigor. Simone Bonanni_photo by Davide Di Tria

Simone Bonanni_photo by Davide Di Tria

The choice to use terracotta came naturally when drawing the silhouettes. The idea was to introduce in the Moooi living environment a series of objects which appeared hand-made and could convey a natural and gently imperfect tone to its surroundings.

I wanted the object to appear beautiful for its spontaneity and its genuine presence, not for its complexity. Many samples of the material were necessary and we tried more than twenty finishes, both glazed for the top, and natural for the edge and base. We experimented with a new antiquing process for the surfaces and worked on the tactile aspect of the product by adding more or less thick grog to the mix: the aim was to create a perfect blend of past and present. A product that is graphically so educated absolutely needed to be built with a special surface.

Our research for the finishes and the technical development of such large volumes of such a mercurial material, so difficult to govern, were a real challenge. It is even more so when you think of the serial production required, and the fact that they probably represented quite a novelty, even for the ceramic craftspeople of the Veneto region with whom we collaborated on the project. The problem was not so much to produce an impeccable Obon table, but to continue to reproduce them with the same quality level, improving the technique day by day.


Moooi© on ARCHIPRODUCTSCraftsmanship, Irony and Compositional Rigor

Craftsmanship, Irony and Compositional Rigor

Obon, design by Simone Bonanni

Obon, design by Simone Bonanni

Obon, design by Simone Bonanni

Obon, design by Simone Bonanni

Obon, design by Simone Bonanni

Obon, design by Simone Bonanni

Obon, design by Simone Bonanni

Obon, design by Simone Bonanni

Craftsmanship, Irony and Compositional Rigor

Craftsmanship, Irony and Compositional Rigor

Craftsmanship, Irony and Compositional Rigor

Craftsmanship, Irony and Compositional Rigor

Craftsmanship, Irony and Compositional Rigor

Craftsmanship, Irony and Compositional Rigor

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