Materials like technological second leathers, protagonists of theatrical effects and total look sets. Gian Paolo Venier explains how materials are chosen and used

Gian Paolo Venier is a interior designer who loves to understand “l 'effect it makes ”and perhaps this is the most interesting part of the expressive freedom of his works. Together with Paola Navone he has been a partner of Studio Otto for a few months, after years of collaborations and great friendship.

“I cultivate a part of joy and well-being in work, it is necessary. We carry out large and complex projects: it is important to recover happiness and joie de vivre at the end of the day ”. Which for Venier passes from the curiosity for the territories, to the research of shapes and materials . And from healthy and non-performing human relationships.

Structure and space guide the choice of materials

Venier shows a blackened wooden brick , in which the veins are carved and the surface effect becomes three-dimensional. "This is wood, it's the only way I can imagine using it right now", he explains to me. “It is the product of a manual process with several steps : first it burns, then the grain is chemically excavated”.

Little remains of the wood, but the result from an aesthetic point of view is surprising: a small abstract sculpture. Next to other similar modules, it is preparing to become a floor. The choice of materials for the surfaces concerns the reading of the context , which passes through a dialogue with the architectural structure and with the perception of space.

"Structure and perception are often two tensions that push in opposite directions: finding a balance is the goal.". It is not always obvious, but technology has really changed the materials, both from a formal and aesthetic point of view, and from the point of view of installation.

The technology to discover the nature of ceramics

"All materials, without exception, have become extremely versatile . And there is no longer the temptation to pretend, to mimic or imitate more noble raw materials at the expense of the intrinsic characteristics of the material. basic ".

Printing is so advanced that today it is easy to use the ceramic surface for tailoring projects: it is the graphics that ennoble the material , as well as the greater width of the surfaces, which means more homogeneity. Another fundamental innovation: the thickness of the material . A lightness that allows you to cover not only floors and walls, but also the furniture. "The final effect is interesting, above all because it does not require the demolition of the existing space: the minimum thickness allows you to overlap the installation and even cover the furniture".

However, there is another angle to keep in mind when it comes to ceramics, made more topical at the moment for obvious reasons related to the pandemic. In fact, the natural beauty of this material, interpreted in a high-tech key, provides interesting solutions, from an aesthetic and performance point of view, as regards the sanitation of spaces. As in the case of Active Surfaces® by Iris Ceramica Group that, exploiting the photocatalytic properties of titanium dioxide and silver, has antibacterial and antiviral , anti-pollution , anti-odor and self-cleaning.

Marble is natural, warm, expressive

Let's talk about marble: a material with a demanding aesthetic code . “It is no longer synonymous with luxury: we have freed ourselves from this idea”, comments Gian Paolo Venier. Because, he explains, there is a more contemporary and sustainable use of the raw material: from synthetic products made with marble powders to modular, minimal thickness slabs.

Like the modular tiles of Margraf : the Vicenza-based company, in fact, it uses the remains of the cuts that lead to the creation of the noble blocks to make tiles of standard format , with dimensions and often reduced and ready to use . In addition to having the same quality as the largest slabs, thickness and reduced weight, they offer considerable advantages for installation and maintenance in certain environments as well as the life cycle of the architecture. And they make the entire logistics process more sustainable.

"Then there is a great aesthetic theme : marble is once again used as a natural material, with tumbling that enhances the soft and warm surfaces, or colors, the veins. It is a completely different language, which makes marble speak as a natural, opaque stone, also used for small furnishing accessories ".

Resins put on a show

Resins are perhaps among the most scenographic finishes. Or rather: this is how they are interpreted today also thanks to the possibility of combining tones and textures to create solutions of great visual impact. Just think of Kerakoll's Color Collection, which in addition to the fifteen material textures and 150 shades also offer a ultra-flat surface (Decor Paint ): thanks to its deep opacity , it absorbs the rays reacting differently to the play of light at various times of the day. A real playground for interior designers like Venier.

"We use them in multicolor colors that look like Venetian papers", he says. "Or to create shiny surfaces , looking for a" water "effect that really alters the perception of space. spectacular ”, explains Venier. "And also in this case the surfaces can be restored with highly decorative technical coatings, which exploit completely new interior languages. They are scenographies, theatrical concepts, graphic and three-dimensional layouts that interact intelligently with the structure and with the spaces.

Wood: a leather to be treated with care

Finally, wood, a choice that "makes home" and that is becoming more and more popular because it is considered sustainable, even if, before considering this material a responsible choice from an environmental point of view, it is good to study its origin and processing .

In this sense, Italy can boast flagships such as Itlas , which uses only wood from forests managed correctly and processes the entire product, from the trunk to the floor, in its factories in our country, thus producing a < / span> short supply chain and following the life cycle of the product in all its evolution.

Another myth to dispel is that wood is only beautiful in its "nature" version. “We are looking for new ways of seeing wood ", says Venier: "we are looking for it in its most artificial, softened, altered, colored versions".

Wood as skin, thin film, certainly not solid wood: it seems that nobody wants to deal with noble, rare or natural woods any more . "A sensible reaction to the scarcity of raw materials and the use of more sustainable indigenous essences". Interesting is the wood that becomes a film with which to cover everything, from surfaces to furnishings. Here, too, as for marble, it is the attempt to create unexpected total look environments, in which the veins and colors declare the tone of the project in no uncertain terms ".