Gloria, Arianna, Ilaria and Adele (GAIA) met at ISIA Firenze and it was immediate understanding and collaboration on projects of Product & Communication Design. They all reflect and work with inspiration and creativity on the issues of living, the spatial and conceptual barriers/boundaries, the expression of the self in the domestic and urban environment. Gloria Pizzilli is illustrator. With great passion and humility she engages in projects focusing simply on the best. From drawing to design she crosses all forms of expression, leaving her mark. Arianna Petrakis is half Greek, half Italian. From here, two tracks: a rational one - for investigating, understanding and resolving without surrender - and an irrational one - for catching all the emotional nuances of the project with great ease. Ilaria Pacini is a singer. Equipped with depth of thought and expression, keen to address all the issues without forgetting to let her taste and attention to detail pass through. Adele Bacci is a performer. A visionary and lucid mind, capable of developing and bringing to the world multidisciplinary projects fresh and intriguing, finalizing into communication the construction of unheard suggestions on the present.
VEASYBLE has been awarded a Special Mention Award by Artex Scenari di Innovazione 5th Edition and by PAD Design and Mediterranean between Present and Future, 1st Edition. From 18 to 20 June 2009 was exhibited at the showroom Mozaik - Istanbul during the Istanbul Design Week.
Although I come across many great works from many diverse disciplines, Veasyble truly encompasses a holistic completion of physical and emotional facets masterfully. We sat and discussed the essence of not only the product but also the interaction between the team that delivers such an innovative project.
What was the process of conceptually developing such project? Did you ladies sit down over coffee and discuss the notions of isolation, intimacy, and ornamentation? How does a project like this comes about?
A project like this comes to life almost as a joke. When a design group gets together for the designing pleasure, you never know what is for real and what is just for fun, how many words, over coffee or between phone calls, are to take seriously and how many are to reject up front and, above all, when it will all come together. To start with, we put ideas, books, thoughts on the table, and we take a look at colleagues’ and artists’ work. This is the inspirational part, the most fun and most inconstant, which serves to bring the intervention point into focus. After this part comes the design challenge, the research for techniques and solutions to keep faith with the established concept. To have an idea is relatively simple, to make it real is more difficult. The workshop starts here: technical and material research, structural tests and shaping experiments will follow tirelessly one after the other to become Veasyble, the project you know.
How important to the project was it to have a transitional product?
Transformability was a necessary requisite for the birth of this project. Among the inspiring principles we left out the one which, maybe, explains the Veasyble genesis best of all, that is collapsibility. From here the concept of folding and the study of an effective pattern capable of constructing the “beautiful intimacy” we seek. We study functioning prototypes, in scale and real size, throughout the design process, so we can understand the limits and growth margins of the project.
I couldn’t help thinking of Elizabethan 'ruffs' when I first saw Veasyble, was there any inspiration to this or other historical periods?
The reference you notice is not accidental, on the contrary, the sixteenth-century ruffs greatly influenced our creative process. The folding pattern, which sets up our ruff, was designed after a series of folding experiments and it was immediately returned to the appropriate scale to refer to this historical period. The Veasyble ruff is a self-structuring helix, which binds the neck without choking. A modulating object of which you can adjust height and diameter. It follows your mood transforming itself, like the plumage of a bird, which can puff up its feathers. The entire set moves from the same presuppositions and was designed to transform, but the ruff is, definitely, the most wearable and fascinating object.
The accessories are quite provocative and interesting, but the pieces in isolation are a direct discourse on our social complexity. Can you talk to us about how we can relate to these isolation episodes?
Veasyble. Unfold a beautiful intimacy is a set of objects ready to use to create intimacy any time, any place, on various levels. Our aim was to put emphasis on a frequent mood: ignoring others, isolating ourselves when we feel out of sorts with the environment, searching for intimacy where it seems impossible. Veasyble is a forceful exhibition of our personality. Like every accessory, it carries a powerful aesthetic message, a barrier that is a dominant aesthetic of privacy
In times when our most intimate of domestic moments seem to be with devices of technology (smartphones, PDA, laptops), Veasyble reminds us of the beauty and necessity to be within ourselves and/or share a physical connection to another individual. Can you elaborate on the notion, relating it to Veasyble?
Authentic contacts with oneself and with the “other”, how you emphasize yourself, have become extremely rare, replaced by virtual relationships that are illusory and, very often, insubstantial. In spite of its surrealism, Veasyble goes beyond mere eccentricity, attempting to pinpoint a shared mood. Veasyble is a performance, a communication tool, a declaration of disconnection from the surrounding reality.
Veasyble is an emotive and communicative product, how important is that to your problem solving process and is this also prevalent in other projects the team is working on?
The conceptual part is fundamental in our design process. Communication and motivation are our creative power. Concept is the genesis, emotion is the outcome. Rational, lucid, almost scientific in the beginning, during the transfer from idea to concreteness, we find an emotive product in our hands, changed from its earlier state of a bundle of ideas clot, into a highly communicative package, through a mutation which happens instinctively, born of intuition, attention and dedication.
We cannot wait to see more of this talented team, what else are you ladies reading, writing, thinking, discussing over coffee or wine these days?
Lately we have been really busy individually, but we intend to bring the GAIA group together soon. As we said previously, we are oriented towards a strongly conceptual design, which could come to life starting from the abstraction of a need or from the decidedly physical characteristics of a material. However, we are not interested in fashion, as much as conceptualization and mise-en-scene of an idea, a mood, a trend. Devices which continue to be emotive. Objects not only to wear, but to perform.