“The collection's signature effects range from a faded fresco in a villa to the marks left by damp on plaster, and the traces of rust that may stain masonry.”
Giorgia Zanellato (Venice, 1987) and Daniele Bortotto (Pordenone, 1988), designers, both studied Industrial Design at the IUAV in Venice and went on to take a Master's Degree in Product Design at the ECAL in Lausanne (Switzerland). Giorgia Zanellato then joined the team at Fabrica - Benetton Research Centre (Treviso), while Daniele Bortotto started to work for the Swiss designer Adrien Rovero. After thus completing their training, the two designers came together on their first joint collection, the “Acqua Alta” series, dedicated to the city of Venice and presented at the Milan Salone Satellite in 2013. The following year they designed the “Serenissima” collection for Moroso, an industrial design project in which Venice's colours and structural features become the inspiration for furniture, fabrics and ornaments. After the success of these ventures, in 2015 they founded the Zanellato Bortotto firm, which works for big Italian and international names - Cappellini, Nilufar, Moroso, Rubelli, Tod’s, Alcantara - and has also had projects selected for galleries and museums - including the MAXXI in Rome and the Triennale Design Museum and Museo Poldi Pezzoli in Milan - as well as exhibiting at various international events - Salone del Mobile, Design Miami Basel, Maison&Object, Venice Biennale, London Design Festival.
Their approach, always supported by careful cross-referencing with the location and time, ensures functionality without forgetting poetry of form, decoration and style, through a design process which establishes a dialogue, during production, between the worlds of craftsmanship and industry, creating both mass-market goods and limited editions and one-off pieces.
In line with a design method that investigates space-time relationships and identifies the signs of history in the hidden recesses of the familiar places where daily life is lived, for CEDIT Giorgia Zanellato and Daniele Bortotto present the Storie collection, comprising six different sets of wall coverings, inscribed by the young designers with the theme of the relentless passage of time. The duo explored Italy's architectural landscape - its interiors and its nostalgic contrasts - of stately homes, villas and aristocratic palaces, farmhouses and old factories, and the environmental surroundings of a distinctively Italian manufacturing past, to source their repertoire of images and their inspiration for conveying a distinctively Italian mood. Looking at the changes brought about by sometimes unfriendly time, the designers undertake a journey of exploration and interpretation of the gradients of colour, shade, texture and consistency of large portions of plastered wall. “Technological innovation enables us to reproduce on large-sized ceramic materials all the effects of wear and stratification that normally only time is able to create." Zanellato and Bortotto have selected five different environments, located in precise contexts and areas, and identified a specific effect caused by the ageing process in each of them - the faded fresco on the wall of a villa, the damp found on plain or decorative plasterwork or the form of rust stains on walls. To apply an emotional synecdoche, the wall becomes a metaphor for experience, the "skin" which accumulates and reveals the passing of the years, the surface on which time itself is deposited. The walls of a room are the surfaces on which the moods, moments and stories it has contained are deposited, transforming their appearance and leaving visual records of the unique events of which they are the silent custodians. The unique nature of these moments and events is translated into ceramics, for centuries an art form produced only by craftsmen, a material which can be moulded to create original, unrepeatable panels even in large sizes. The slabs, designed for covering indoor and in some cases outdoor walls, contain stunning pigments and colour variations, the memory of an illustrious past and custodians of antique, vanishing traditions and knowledge.