Da Vinci Workshop



The icon of Italian design is arguably Leonardo Da Vinci, who plays a pivotal role in the industry and challenges public’s attitudes towards contemporary art. He and a slew of enigmatic Italian-born designers and artists have created a whole new spectrum of styles in design and art.

To mark such appreciation toward Italian artists and designers, the Embassy of Italy in Jakarta, the Italian Trade Agency and the Italian Cultural Institute, Jakarta, in collaboration with LAFLO picked up the momentum and declared the International Italian Design day for the first time on March 2. For the purpose of promoting “Made in Italy” products, a series of events are held not only for a day but a month. The one HighEnd attended was “The Italian Design: Between tradition and innovation”, a seminar where one of the prominent Italian designers, Raffaella Mangiarotti, presented her notable designs and inspired the attendees of Italian designs that entail culture, art and philosophy to symbolize Italian designers’ personal style.

On the occasion, she later explained about the adventure in doing a work, “When kicking off a particular project, you can study everything; the technologies, materials, the functional and ergonomic aspects, and the art aspect. But then you have to forget all the preconceived images in your mind and begin to think what your personal view is toward that project. If it means to put everything in discussion, even starting from the typology, you have to take the risk. This risk may slip you down, but if you get in the place and you would like to go, then it is a real satisfaction.”

Pulse Project F - Washing Machine

In addition to her personal style, this Milan-based designer tends to inject a feminine perspective into the project, especially when it comes to designs of technical objects, such as her original idea for a washing machine named Pulse Project F, which won the I.D. Award for research in August 2003. As is seen on the pictures, Pulse is designed in a harmony of women; the curvature encodes a maternal figure, and the calming color accentuates the aesthetic side. The machine’s architecture also represents beauty that helps users take care of their garment without disturbing sound or more energy to waste. Few elements are applied inside, including a rigid outer volume, a soft heart with a coaxial “umbilical cord” that as in nature supplies the system with vital energies, the cavity between them, the drive unit (an air/water pump with its circuits) and an interface with very simple controls. As Raffaella continued, “Taking care is a focus point of my view. When we deliver an object, we have to deliver our body and our personal things into it since it is important to focus on the sense of care. The washing machine with centripetal forces has similar movement of a human body which takes care of human’s clothes as if we, humans, take care of our health.”

Dandelion Lamp

The internationally acclaimed designer believes that the risk she takes sometimes result in a beautiful project but can also lead to a mess, making her want to give up. In the end, she has to keep going and puts all her patience, concentration and time into it as if there is an interesting outcome. Then it really happens; something unique comes out of this, just like her Dandelion lamp that has been exhibited as part of the Permanent Collection of Design and Architecture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. This was actually a result of collaboration with her working partner Matteo Bazzicalupo for Deepdesign, a design company founded by both of them.