Fabrica Installs Extra-Ordinary Gallery at Ace Hotel London
At first glance, the hand-crafted objects displayed in a large vitrine in the lobby of the
Ace Hotel in Shoreditch
for this year’s London Design Festival seem familiar. There’s a shelf, some cushions and vases and other everyday items, but each has been given a unique and unusual twist. Produced by resident designers at Italian communications research center
, the pieces created for the
installation, on view through September 22, are the organization’s first foray into self production.
Designer Federico Floriani explains that the brief given to the design team at Fabrica’s base in Treviso was to work with local artisans on products that transcend the ordinary through their surprising use of form, material and enhanced functionality. “We tried to experiment with simple materials but in an extraordinary way,” says Floriani. “The extra idea of the designer is what makes it special.”
Floriani himself developed a set of sculpted geometric stones that can be chilled and added to Scotch to cool it without diluting the flavor, as well as a pair of two-dimensional wire-frame masks based on decorative railings found in southern Italy. Other pieces include cushions by illustrator Mariana Fernandes with a pattern that was hand-drawn, scanned and printed onto fabric, and a series of delicate blown-glass vases by French designer
that can be hung or stood on a surface to alter the way the contents are displayed.
A monochrome colour palette unites the otherwise disparate objects, which are now available through a new online store. The project is an experimental attempt at retail that breaks from Fabrica’s typical remit of client-led projects. “Usually we produce things for a client but this time we invested money to do it ourselves,” explains Floriani, adding that the positive reaction it has received means there are likely to be more extraordinary products on the way.