by Jerry ElengicalJun 17, 2021
Owing to the transformed notion of sociality and the use of collective public spaces in the light of COVID-19 pandemic since last year, Studiopepe, founded by Arianna Lelli Mami and Chiara Di Pinto, imagines a virtual showcase of their products and projects from 2020. Named De-siderio, its joint, un-stylised form translating to ‘desire’, this virtual ‘exhibition’ manifests itself in an otherworldly plane as a pavilion like architecture. What’s interesting is that instead of the pavilion housing these artefacts and products and simply showcasing them, it is them. The ‘building’ comprises a stylised, scaled notion of these products, adding to the fantastical element of it, as opposed to the functional.
Articulated as a constellation rather than a mere collection, the word desiderio is composed of the Latin prefix ‘de’ - meaning lack of, and the word ‘sidus’, meaning star. “To lack stars”, or to “feel a lack of stars”, in a very poetic sense, is to desire, to foster a “sentiment of passionate seeking”, and that is exactly the emotion De-siderio seeks to conjure for onlookers. Studiopepe’s imagined ‘constellation’ features all their projects from 2020, and is brought to form through formal research on materials, analysis of signs, language and semiotics, all aspects that are characteristic of the Italian studio’s design vision.
“Each manifesto is unique, but they all share our vision of design and represent a collection of projects and suggestions we have completed during the year: a summary occurred in the design of a place and an experience asking ourselves questions on themes such as the use of public or domestic spaces and our ever changing relationship with objects,” states an official release by Studiopepe on the nature of De-siderio. “It’s no longer a physical place that reflects our projects, but an imaginary architecture created in order to connect projects, told through a video that uses the poetic and synaesthetic language typical of art, creating references, connections, dialogues, analogies. Because De-siderio is what moves our soul and keeps us constantly curious, in the passionate and very human research for conjunction and beauty”.
The vast, comprehensive range of products exhibited in De-siderio include the Azzal bookcase, Lazybones Lounge armchair, Verre Particulier low table, and Nanda applique by Baxter, Lunar Addiction Carpet by CC-Tapis, the Bonfire Lamp and Roundcut shelf system by Gallotti&Radice, Unseen lighting system by Petite Friture, Five to Nine daybed, Pluto low tables, and Pablo, Dora vases by Tacchini, Nastro floor lamp, applique, and table lamp by Tooy, and Desert Botanica and Okta by Wall&Decó.
The film powerfully, abstractly encapsulates the experience of De-siderio and its digital, make-believe world set in a ruminative, arid landscape, a plane where the striking pieces and the architecture composed of them can take centrestage. It is sublime and surreal, accompanied by seemingly unrelated visuals and words juxtaposed against a calm, doctored setup of designer products, nary a life form visible in the distance. The architectural form of the pavilion itself draws from that of an open observatory, brought alive through a dance of shadows. A particularly remarkable one is cast through the orifice of an inverted concave shell on top, tracing its way through a linear, constellational inscription in the flooring. A planetary tale is told: of Mars as the symbol of strength, antagonism, firm and constructive, and Saturn as an inspiration for rationality, logic, framework, and adherence to rules, parallelised as design inspiration. As the furniture and products too participate, the stage is set in this incredible production by Studiopepe. In an eerie calm voice, a narration asks of this imaginary world: “Are you real, utopia?”
Watch the full short film for De-siderio, here.