Standing out at Milan Design Week 2021 is the work of Dimore Studio, a design studio born in Milan itself. Founded in 2003 by Britt Moran and Emiliano Salci, the studio offers full-service architectural solutions to a global market. The duo is also known for its innovative furniture and textile pieces that fuse historical moments with the present day. The word “Dimore” translates as “dwelling” in Italian, but Moran explains it holds more meaning. According to him, the term “conjures up images of old villas clinging to their aristocratic origins.” Appropriately, everything the studio does carries an air of nostalgia, tying contemporary styles to past design movements.
The exhibit by Dimore Studio at Milan Design Week 2021 continues this purposeful celebration of historical styles. The work unveiled at the gallery spans several timepoints, as suggested in its title, “Past, Present, and Future.” It celebrates the history of Italian design and offers a retrospective on Claudio Salocchi. Here is a closer look at the duo’s incredible work on display at Milan Design Week.
Past Celebrating Italian Rationalism
The “Past” exhibit by Dimore Studio at Milan Design Week 2021 expands over several rooms, each celebrating Italian Rationalism. Inspired by Roman architecture’s scale, structure, and symmetry, this design movement flourished in the 1930s. As such, Dimore features iconic works completed by Italian architects Piero Portaluppi, Marcello Piacentini and Piero Bottoni made during this period. Examples include desks taking distinctive geometric forms characteristic of the period and lighting by Gaetana “Gae” Aulenti. Each item has a strict, severe, formal, and symmetrical finish, unburdened by detailing. It creates order and a mathematical feel to the room.
These quintessentially Rationalist pieces give the gallery a museum-like feel, allowing visitors to step back in time. However, Dimore Studio complements this celebration of Rationalism with a contemporary feel by combining pieces from several other historical timepoints. This overlapping of different historical moments emphasizes the work from both periods. For example, Italian-made ceramics by Bitossi Ceramiche are scattered between furnishings. Founded in 1921 by Guido Bitossi, the pieces’ bright colors and stylish charm became popular in the mid-1950s. The twenty-nine unique pieces used in the gallery punctuate the space, each carefully selected from the Bitossi Archive Museum. The texture and color balance with the geometric forms characteristic of the Italian Rationalist style.
The wallpapers used by Dimore Studio at Milan Design Week 2021 are chosen for their unique and colorful images. Several are from Gournay’s hand-painted collection of Chinoiserie wallpapers. Being painted as early as 1983, some have never been seen before. From wallpapers featuring vibrant pheasants to decorative vases and foliage, add life and energy to the space. Together, Dimore Studio’s clever integration of Rationalist pieces with other periods blurs the lines between historical and modern styles.
Current Collections Digitally Displayed
The “Present” exhibit by Dimore Studio at Milan Design Week 2021 showcases the studio’s current homeware collection. Many of the studio’s latest works take on the neo-romantic style of the 1930s and 40s. Through the use of unusual materials, each is expressive and emotive. In terms of color, many furniture items take on deeper shades with brighter accents, while textiles boast linear patterns. This unusual mix brings each piece of furniture into the modern-day. In line with the technologies of today, the digital premiere further harmonizes the modern works on display.
Future Focused on Designer Claudio Salocchi
The “Future” exhibit by Dimore Studio at Milan Design Week is arguably the most interesting. This third part pays tribute to the work of award-winning Italian designer Claudio Salocchi. He is best known for his innovative compositions that challenged current design without compromising on functionality. Moran and Salci met Salocchi’s son, who discussed the importance of his practical approach towards innovation in the future. Balancing aesthetic appeal, modern style, and functionality seem a powerful driving force in the direction of the industry. As such, it appears that a retrospective of Salocchi’s pioneering approach to design became the focus of Dimore’s future segment.
For the space, Dimore Studio took inspiration from Salocchi’s private home. Built-in the 1970s, it boasts avant-garde design for the period, creating a modern and non-conformist utopia. To replicate this feeling, Dimore unveiled a room containing many of Salocchi’s signature pieces made throughout his career. Taking fragments from various years highlights the progression towards a futuristic and functional form throughout time. One example is the selection of geometric free-standing lamps designed in the 1960s and 1970. They give viewers a clear visual representation of design direction and an image of the future – a world in which function and form merge perfectly.
The “Past, Present, and Future” by Dimore Studios at Milan Design Week 2021 is not the studio’s only addition. The architectural duo also contributed to a collaborative project of Dior’s, reinterpreting the iconic medallion chair.