Architect Carmine Abate clad the Blessing fashion store in Castellammare di Stabia (Naples) with 20,000 10x10cm tiles. The optical effect is a tribute in a maxi format

Bringing a 'rational' order to a space to enhance its free creativity. It seems an oxymoron yet it is the effect that Carmine Abate achieved with the interior design of the Blessing fashion store in Castellammare di Stabia (NA).

Here, in fact, the young architect from Campania has inserted a series of iconic furnishings (such as the Superleggera by Gio 'Ponti and the Chiara by Mario Bellini) in a space covered in all its parts from a wall covering inspired by the iconic Quaderna by Superstudio for Zanotta, made with about 20,000 ice-colored tiles of 10x10cm each.

Why did you draw inspiration from Quaderna?

My inspirations are varied, eclectic, often in evident contrast to each other. Yet, it is precisely between the links of apparently daring and chaotic combinations that my work begins. I have drawn order where others see only chaos, I have tried to make differences coexist by enhancing them and to create harmony in eclecticism.

I have always appreciated the seventies so when I was called to create the Blessing concept store I thought of the symbolic table of those years, Quaderna, and I tried to build a regular pattern for my interior and design world. Superstudio's utopia was the suggestion to increase shooting even more, so the reticle has widened to cover the walls, ceiling and floor.

Do you think that radical design creations still have a certain impact today? Judging from his work, he is hyper contemporary (and socially proof)

As mentioned Quaderna was the starting point, but the real novelty was applying a module to an entire volume. Surely the result was of strong impact and social proof as the results show: the space is photographed and published a lot. He was winner of the mention in the Cersaie competition 'Ceramics and the project' and mentioned at the Covering of Las Vegas. So I would definitely say yes.

Freedom and rigor: a well-contracted oxymoron in Quaderna. Do you feel you have given more voice to one or the other?

I'm sure I gave both of them a voice. Freedom without rigor is free will, a different concept. You need to know the rules well to break them. Try to mount a tile without ever cutting one, on the floor, on the wall and on the ceiling. There was a precise study for the installation, with preliminary work on the false walls, with a well-reinforced false ceiling for the weight.

A trunk on a regular mesh is a clear decision. It means: now I want a log. That trunk and not another thing. I don't want rules anymore, but I want transgression. The Superstudios knew the Sixties well, the bourgeois way of doing architecture and design that preceded them.

But why give rigor to creative freedom? Isn't there a risk of reducing explosiveness?

The contrast between the two is strong but complementary. If we look at the case: the playful steel plinth makes the joints infinite. The briar block seems to float. Ditto the mirrors. They create a mise en abyme effect.

But through them the network continues and creates perspectives from the 'before computer age'. It becomes the perfect backdrop to read the remaining furnishings, sophisticated, sometimes cultured, others just flashy. Without forgetting the product: we are making it recognizable.

What logic did you follow for the design of the store?

The logic was to create a sort of bunker tidy and regular, entirely covered with 10x10 tiles cm ice white with a 5 mm joint, which acts as a harmonizing container for the 'exceptions' that distinguish my style.

In fact, warm materials and structure irregular, such as walnut root or tree trunks, take over the perfect regularity of the geometric grid , and original furnishing elements that detach from the white background and become characterizing presences.

Like the walnut burl cash register cabinet, which seems to float due to the reflective perimeter base. Or for the niches covered in Cartier red, the velvet platforms, the wooden trunks on a golden base and the steel cylinders.

How much did the project's instability affect your choice?

The radical design school of the 1970s teaches: never design what others expect. I was aware that an image with a strong impact would come out. I am very lucky, because I have clients who set me free.

Perhaps they more than me accepted the project willingly, aware of the format's immutability. Free to the point that I was able to leave a signature with my motto: the phrase 'Forever More', the title of a song by the singer Roisin Murphy, whose shows I often inspire .