Elisa Ossino, John Pawson, Kengo Kuma design minimalist miniatures for Salvatori

The Village - an initiative by the Tuscany-based design company - reveals a collection of miniature sculptures by leading creatives, illustrating their interpretation of a home.

by Zohra KhanPublished on : Jul 15, 2021

A series of miniature sculptures in stark geometries and varying degrees of tones, textures and tactility compose 'The Village' collection by Salvatori. A brainchild of Gabriele Salvatori – the CEO of the Italian design company specialising in natural stone - the project rethinks the concept of home and is inspired by the experiences of the 2020 lockdown that triggered a collective sense that home is more than just a space with four walls. “I wanted this project to reflect my idea of a global community, where we all may come from different backgrounds and cultures, but we find a way to live together. So, it made sense to apply that same thinking to the sculptures, so that we end up with a miniature version of the real world, this small but great global village,” explains Salvatori.

With the project inviting contributions from leading design creatives, STIR takes a peek into the six sculptures from the collection.

A poetic nod to the Greek statues

  • Alma, Kore by Patricia Urquiola | The Village | Salvatori | STIRworld
    Alma, Kore by Patricia Urquiola Image: Courtesy of Salvatori
  • Petra, Kore by Patricia Urquiola | The Village | Salvatori | STIRworld
    Petra, Kore by Patricia Urquiola Image: Courtesy of Salvatori

The first addition to The Village is a pair of homes called Petra and Alma, collectively titled Kore by Spanish architect and designer, Patricia Urquiola. Described as evoking sentiments of domestic warmth and intimacy by her, Petra stands out for its ‘glorious colouring and veins’ while Alma is characterised for being highly evocative and tactile. “I chose the name Kore for my village as a poetic nod to the Greek statues that depict young women on the cusp of adulthood,” states Urquiola in a press statement. “I wanted to represent two worlds and two diverse, yet complementary aesthetics,” she says adding further that “home has become the centre of our lives, and that we have all become domestic navigators, trying to orient ourselves to these new latitudes.”

An assembly of people

Assembly: A trio of sculptural minimalist pieces by Yabu Pushelberg | The Village | Salvatori | STIRworld
Assembly: A trio of sculptural minimalist pieces by Yabu Pushelberg Image: Courtesy of Salvatori

Amorphic shapes and rectilinear geometric forms fusing fluidity of natural stone are beautifully illustrated in the three limestone towers by New York-based studio, Yabu Pushelberg. Composed of Self, Collective and Convergence blocks, the collection is broadly referred as Assembly and represents the individual, the community and their intersection.

Inspired by the nuances of the historic city of Petra, as per designers George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg, the pieces respond to the unpredictable, authentic beauty of life itself. “If you look at these towers, they look like stacked dwellings in a village,” shares the duo.

An ode to our multi-shaped world

Novecento: A quartet of miniature blocks by Rodolfo Dordoni | The Village | Salvatori | STIRworld
Novecento: A quartet of miniature blocks by Rodolfo Dordoni Image: Courtesy of Salvatori

Responding to the eternal unpredictability of human existence, Novecento by architect Rodolfo Dordoni features a quartet of miniature houses inspired by the eclectic history and stories of the Italian landscape. “My contribution to The Village originates between playfulness and rationality, from the combination of architecture, sculpture and design,” states the Italian designer whose pieces reveal vivid red and dark rusty tones.

A sanctuary of imperfections

  • Kengo Kuma has played with the universal image of a home in MA House  | The Village | Salvatori | STIRworld
    Kengo Kuma has played with the universal image of a home in ‘MA House’ Image: Courtesy of Salvatori
  • The name of the house (derived from a Japanese symbol) refers to ‘the absence between existing elements as an existence in itself’  | The Village | Salvatori | STIRworld
    The name of the house (derived from a Japanese symbol) refers to ‘the absence between existing elements as an existence in itself’ Image: Courtesy of Salvatori

The imagery of simple childish silhouettes that universally connect the idea of a house was the starting point for Kengo Kuma’s MA House collection – a 12cm high structure responding to the thought that despite various shortcomings, home makes for the most wonderful place on earth for everyone. The cubical block features arched and pentagonal openings on its sides and a nook carved out at its centre which can be used as a lamp. “We wanted to go beyond the idea of a “house shape” of a certain interest or attractiveness that could be done with any material. It was more appealing to us to think about the potential of the natural stone, and carving was the natural process we ended up with,” shares the Japanese architect.

What they taught you about home

House of Stone by John Pawson draws from the simplest iconography of a home | The Village | Salvatori | STIRworld
House of Stone by John Pawson draws from the simplest iconography of a home Image: Courtesy of Salvatori

British architectural designer John Pawson’s House of Stone described in his own words is ‘an archetypal form in miniature, stripped of every extraneous detail’. The design reveals a faceted triangular solid block carved and cut to create slits on its top-most surface and side edges. The idea, as per Pawson, was to break the solidity of the stone and also to allow light to permeate through. Speaking of its inspiration, he shares that the object is “an expression of the iconography of home taught to us in childhood - or at least one version of it”.

Towards an ideal world

Utopia by Elisa Ossino draws from the classic iconography of forms of utopian architecture | The Village | Salvatori | STIRworld
Utopia by Elisa Ossino draws from the classic iconography of forms of utopian architecture Image: Courtesy of Salvatori

Sicily-born architect and designer, Elisa Ossino, presents Utopia - a trio of sculptures evoking the imagery of classic canons extending to the concept of an ideal town. Stark lines and a classic, clean geometry of the blocks mirror the image of a sun-washed Mediterranean village. Punctuated by miniature stair-like forms, circular, arched and rectilinear openings, as per Ossino, the beauty of the object is that it cannot be replicated. She says, “Every block has its own completely unique colours and veining.”

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