Two designers work on the relation with matter. The result is a new reciprocity between design and research, between sophistication and spontaneity

Changing the world seems like an abstract purpose, until you see what the new designers are doing. Then it becomes very clear that evolving also has a markedly aesthetic aspect. In recent years, it has given rise to a landscape of brutal objects, raw materials or waste, industrial upcycling. There is a very simple reason, in addition to the historical moment: young designers are fascinated by materials. As if the material, often hazardous like plastic, often invisible like silica or waste from some industrial process of fabrication, held the answers to recreating a healthy link with design.

Dialogue with the materials

Tipstudio, the practice that unites Imma Matera and Tommaso Lucarini, is no exception: in their Pietrasanta workshop they play with materials. With two heads and two different attitudes. Imma Matera has a more pragmatic, functional and sophisticated approach. Tommaso Lucarini a more exploratory intent. The union of two different design natures leads to a series of conceptual projects that have in common a dialogue with the material. “It’s always 50/50 between us in guiding the process and the spontaneous result of our experiments,” explains Tommaso Lucarini.

From project to product

This working strategy, according to Tipstudio, enables someone who starts to build a different identity to work with great freedom of intent and research. If the goal is to understand what kind of designer you are before starting to enter into a relationship with the industry, giving yourself some time to devote yourself to the collectible is the best way. As Tip Studio confirms, one of the fastest ways to make yourself known is to be seen, to show your work publicly. Edit Napoli and the FuoriSalone in Milan are the most coveted circuits. And they are really effective.

Searching for expressive affinity

Tipstudio then works on the collectible/companies axis. “It’s not easy to find companies you have a true expressive affinity with. But I think that the encounter between research and seriality can lead to an amplification of the result. It is not a foregone conclusion that product and experimentation will coincide. But there are definitely times when the vocabulary developed in self-production comes to design maturity within the industry. Of the whole industry, not only furniture.”

An open gaze

Because the other feature of very young designers in general, and Tipstudio in particular, is the gaze that extends across the whole manufacturing world. From the producers of semi-finished products to workshops where metals are processed and the large industries working with raw materials. “There’s the potential to relaunch ignored economies, of looking at matter with a completely different eye,” explains Tommaso Lucarini.

Between reuse and aesthetic interest

In Tipstudio’s work you see it in every collection. In Secondo Fuoco, in which the siliceous material that results from the slag of bronze processing becomes the object of reuse, design and aesthetic interest; in Loto, a traveling project to create a collection produced with soil from different parts of Italy. Or Disrupted Stability, developed with Studio F, a company that specializes in production with wood from forest maintenance or waste.

A new aesthetic of domesticity

Charring the surface follows a functional logic: the wood doesn’t need to be treated, it becomes weatherproof and the surface is more uniform. The perception of objects, however, is interesting by the sense of estrangement: a material that seems on the verge of destruction becomes a supporting element.” We are far from Maarten Baas, the designer who made himself known for burning iconic chairs. And close to a new aesthetic of domesticity.