Now in its fourth edition, EDIT Napoli—the Italian fair dedicated to authorial and independent design—proved to be an opportunity to discover diverse and unexpected gems. From our recent visit to the fair, which is curated by Domitilla Dardi and Emilia Petruccelli, we’ve chosen to highlight exemplary furniture projects that represent contemporary Italian design. Some of the designers we’ve selected have industry central to their identity, others have craftsmanship at their core, but all are united by research derived from tradition.
No Smoking The Future
The name of this young company from Lecce, No Smoking The Future, is derived from the informal nature that characterizes their products. This year at EDIT, the studio presented armchairs made entirely from a sustainable, biodegradable proprietary material—a fireproof compound made from recycled paper, minerals and pulverized marble that’s joined by natural adhesive. In addition to chairs, No Smoking The Future makes mirrors and coffee tables from this material, which is manipulated to look like stone.
“For years, I just designed black and white objects, but I got tired of it and decided to start experimenting with color,” says designer and entrepreneur Marco Ripa. At EDIT, he showcased a surprising series of geometric and minimal metal objects. Bright-hued paint is used sporadically (for example, on the underside of a shelf) to create playful reflections and pops of color on these otherwise white pieces.
Bogdan by Studiointervallo
Serbian architect Bogdan Bogdanović produced monumental works, and Andrea Ghisoni of Studiointervallo seeks to pay tribute to Bogdanović with the Bogdan furniture collection. Tables and benches are made of solid linden wood, worked according to traditional techniques. Each piece is enclosed with milled-edge ribs; elements necessary to prevent the wood from deforming that also lend a strong visual element with contrasting colors.
Cutout by Millim Studio
Fortunately, the use of production waste is an increasingly common choice in design. This was the starting point for the designers of Rome-based Millim Studio who created coffee tables, side tables and vases from the off-cuts of steel processing. Their striking tables are crafted from sheet metal and are sturdy, yet possess a whimsical element.
Fischio by Inoxeart
A similar mission led to the creation of Fischio, a wireless lamp by Inoxeart, designed by Costanza Grandi and produced in an edition of 100 numbered pieces. Inoxeart is based in Franciacorta, an Italian region known for its wine, which is why the lamps are packaged in wooden boxes that resemble those of sparkling wine.
PoLet by Twils
Achille Castiglioni designed the gorgeous Polet reclining armchairs in the ’90s for his beach house in Liguria. Under the artistic direction of Matteo Ragni, Twils has reissued this surreal but comfortable object. During EDIT, Giovanna Castiglioni—curator of the Studio Museo Achille Castiglioni—invited guests to try out the chairs and held a simultaneous Q&A, or “design therapy” session.
Belvedere by Luca De Bona and Massimiliano Tuveri with VZN Studio
The classic Italian concept of “villeggiatura” refers to the typical vacations of the 1960s, when entire families began to visit places like Rimini, the Amalfi Coast or the Dolomites. Postcards of these beloved locations have been interpreted by VZN Studio for precious jacquard fabrics, used in the deckchairs, directors chair and tables comprising the Belvedere series, designed by Luca De Bona and Massimiliano Tuveri. The wooden structures are also embellished with sophisticated workmanship, making them even more memorable.
Collage by Antonio Lupi
Antonio Lupi’s Collage series redefines the boundary between mirror and work of art. Several layers of glass are superimposed with iconography and then inserted into an aluminum frame with a bronze finish. The result is a functional object that also displays icons of international architecture and historical events such as the moon landing.
Zdora by Serena Confalonieri
As the name promises, Very Simple Kitchen produces basic metal kitchens that are functional but attractive. Thanks to designer Serena Confalonieri, the brand has partnered with La Pietra Compattata—a company that makes cement-like composite materials used for floor- and wall-coverings in the home. The result is Zdora, a collection of metal units for stoves, ovens and benches, as well as kitchen islands with rock-solid surfaces that look like traditional checkered tablecloths. They’re beautiful to look at, and also to touch.
Hero image courtesy of Serena Eller Vainicher