The aesthetic landscape of the metaverse seeps more and more intimately into the furniture. And it reveals an affinity with the icy geometric balance of the modern product which defines, together with a warm romantic inclination, the cultural impact of design

Not everything is possible at all times.

The tectonic movements of the anthropological contingency that reorganizes itself over time favor the emergence of certain aesthetic phenomena.

This was also the case for design, released by the friction between neoclassicism and romanticism which, as a fundamental contrast, marked the European culture of the nineteenth century.

From neoclassicism in particular, design received the dowry of the sense of composition for geometric solids, from which proto-rationalism would arise in a few years of Peter Behrens.

While in parallel the romantic spirit pushed for the birth of a new need, of the opposite sign, for the expression of individual emotions, which gave life among other things to the phenomenon of the Arts & English Crafts.

These two opposing forces – the neoclassical formal rigor on the one hand and the multiform individual expression on the other – would probably have remained irreconcilable if a third factor had not entered the scene, that of industrial production, which from the early twentieth century onwards made possible the emergence of an increasingly varied and accessible market offer, creating the conditions for the emergence of the project discipline.

The conjunction from which design sprang appears today more alive than ever, thanks to the sap that recent digital suggestions have brought to the 'neoclassical' management of form within the framework of the general evolution of visual culture.

After an initial phase in which images were just something to see, and a second phase in which the visual took on a tactile sensitivity through digital screens, images are in fact becoming something to explore in three dimensions, through virtual reality viewers.

Given its liveliness and pervasiveness, this new level of 'environmental' use of the visual experience naturally transfers into the furnishing aesthetics, as demonstrated by the Arkad pouf collection by Note Design Studio forZilio A&C and the Maki bench byVictor Carrascofor ByInteriors, in whose linguistic alphabet the genetic sequences of the neoclassical spirit still leak out, for the composure, the balance, the formal logic, however declined with a taste for the epidermal rarefaction typical of the landscapes of the metaverse.

Even in the 'open object' Cavallino by Sara Ricciardi the geometrism of neoclassical derivation and the purely romantic reference to the world natural, here elegantly inserted as a counterpoint to the curved cylinder that forms the body of the object.

The same romantic vigour, albeit in a finely sublimated guise, instead takes over the sense of balance (still present at the compositional level) in the Savignyplatz table designed by Sebastian Herkner for Man of Parts.

Elegantly imbued with a delicate digital patina are also sober but warm products such as the Suvo vase by studio Macura or the Limón taps by Patricia Urquiola for Agape, or the Sail table produced by Nature Design and the Layers of lamps by Evelina Kudabaite.

The latter project once again displays the neoclassical spirit with limpid clarity, as well as the Arch seat designed by the Korean studio Finder.

Finally, the composed architectural minimalism of these volumes finds a moment of maximum graphic distillation in the RemX seat by the young designer Lani Adeoye, awarded with the SaloneSatellite Award 2022 for its reference in a contemporary key to African aesthetic traditions, a reference that closes the circle with the natural dimension of ancient traditions.

Ideally sealing the double helix of the design DNA, which unites the neoclassical balance in a generating dance, enlivened by the aesthetic transfusion of the metaverse, with the romantic panache, which ignites the project through a search for individual emotional response.