Words we love to read or listen to. Words from books can animate our rooms – either projected in the air by the radio, stereos and speakers, or engraved (graffiti), as a wayward child might do, on our furniture. We want these stories to find a place of their own, to preserve them, pick them up one after the other and freeze them in time and space. Design is our best ally: bookshelves, radios, hi-fi equipment and furnishings preserve and reveal "the spectacle" of knowledge, story and language. Among them, we find original, unconventional, innovative and technological icons. Rallying point: make the narratives and words the centre of domestic spaces.
If reading is a wonderful sea in which to lose yourself, why not place the volumes, which you cannot live without, on a Veliero (sailing ship)? 838 Veliero is the legendary bookshelf that Franco Albini designed and built in 1940 as a piece just for his Via De Togni house in Milan. It was called "Veliero" because its form and structure recalls a boat sail. This bookshelf represents absolute structural and visual lightness, it creates spaces of air and light and is fascinating for its diaphanous and airy rigour. Books seem to float in space. This true icon of Italian design, is today included in I Maestri by Cassina. Veliero is the story of a project with a strong experimental drive, in which there is a balance between technique and poetry, utopia and design.
If you’re a Millennial, surely you're wondering: “What will happen to the traditional bookshelf when books lose sway?” The way we access information is dramatically changing. Books, music and images are no longer tangible objects but are files on the web or in the cloud. It’s time to set a revolution in information storage. This is a need of our times, and to meet it Athena by Eugenia Minerva Design was created. It is much more than a simple, ordinary shelf. Athena can handle digital objects. Just connect via Wi-Fi smartphone, e-reader or smart TV and you can enjoy the contents of your bookshelf. And if you finish the book you were reading but you don’t have time to go out to buy the latest best seller, no problem! Athena is preloaded with more than 40,000 free e-books! The pleasure of reading is finally accessible to everyone with just one click.
Parole, parole, parole … a famous Italian singer used to sing. She is a woman with an extraordinary personality like that of Radiocubo TS502 that the Zanuso and Sapper designer made for Brionvega a few years before the song was recorded in 1964. Radiocubo TS502 became an icon. An irresistible mix of creativity and innovation that made the world fall in love with Italian style. TS502 was one of the first portable radios. It was awarded international design awards and was exhibited in the greatest contemporary art museums.
Dedicated to beauty lovers, it has exciting forms. Bright colours, choice of materials, reliability, ease of use, ergonomics and beauty: this was TS502. These are the reasons why it became a cult favourite. Today with its successor Radioricevitore TS522 it returns to homes. New and surprising colours. Technology and innovation. From an Italian historical cult favourite to a digital era device. TS522 developed in technology but it maintained its form and craftsmanship. All stories, even musical stories, need to be “transmitted” with love.
How can we forget the creation of Radiofonografo RR226 by Achille e Piergiacomo Castiglioni? It was an act of passion. Passion for design, words, stories and music. Take a seat, choose your most relaxing chair: you are about to relive a unique experience. The “music of gestures” is back. Radiofonografo RR226 is a radio, record player and CD / DVD player. Thanks to an auxiliary connection, you can connect any device for complete sensory listening. Incredible sound definition and charming retro style. Skilled artisans are entrusted with the construction of the wooden speakers. They are never the same, never "perfect" because they do not use mass production, but they are always beautiful and unique.
If you prefer a contemporary and minimalist style, refined and ingenious in its simplicity, Serpentine Stereo by Osloform is the choice for you. Purity of shapes, materials and high-quality technology, an artisan approach with a glamorous touch. This is the honest design that four young Norwegian designers want to show the world.
Often stories and tales take us back to a time when as children we could appreciate them and live them. Who doesn’t have nostalgia for that large squared notebook that we used to fill with the letters, words and numbers littered with mistakes? We can relive that emotion, that mixture of fantasy and terror we used to feel in front of a blank page with Superstudio for Zanotta, which was designed in 1970 Quaderna. A true collector’s item, this table gives space to the communication of emotions. It has simple and perfect forms, from a wooden structure coated with plastic laminate, white coloured, it’s printed in a black-squared screen print. It is an invitation to free the imagination, to create, produce, write, live. A story. Our story.
To leave a mark. As once we used to do. On walls, benches, trees. Our initials are a living sign marking our passage through a certain place, which makes us a little bit immortal. Jason Miller, alternative spirit and an American design promise, must have thought of the immortality of the spirit and of the graphic sign when designing the “I was here” table. Made entirely in recycled plastic, it is marked on top by fake graffiti mimicking the real ones seen on picnic tables around the world. Almost an amorous correspondence with the time passing by and the design that creates, leaving our stories intact and indelible.
In this sense, design is a true storyteller. Not only because it keeps our narratives, but because it works on the emotions. It transfers experience, gives sense, generates empathy – in two words it “creates stories.”