Artist Fabio Romano invited Cremacaffè to hold a talk about Design + Nature. Nature plays a major role in Cremacaffè Design philosophy: all our products are designed following a natural materials/minimum waste lead. We are using wood, for the pleasure of people buying our stands, and for the pleasure of working with materials that smell good during the very production phase: try lasercutting acrylic! We wouldn’t do this ourselves, and we are not asking anybody else to do it. When you buy a Cremacaffè Design product, you will be opening a handmade, repurposed fabric soft bag, and find in it your stand, ready to assemble without screws or metallic parts. Our pieces are designed according to the material, which is elastic and shock resistant, unlike acrylic. Therefore a gentle pressure is needed to make all the pieces fit tightly (assembly tutorial coming soon); this procedure will also allow your stand to last longer, no matter how many times you disassemble and carry it with you. So far our clients bought Cremacaffè stands because of the beauty of their design (“it’s like a little origami for synths”, BBoy Tech Report); their flexibility (“it holds an impressive range of machines”, sonicstate.com) and their solidity (“rock solid”, “very stable”; read more on “What People Say / Product Reviews” page). Our customers are imaginative people, and they play a strong role in encouraging us in our digital + handmade + natural materials explorations.
When we were invited to hold the talk, typically we approached it asking ourselves “what can we do?” rather than “what can we tell”. As the location for the conference would have been a very special one – the Archeological Museum of the ancient Greek colony of Gela – and we’ve been making supports for quite some time now, we offered to design and donate a support for one of the artifacts. The Museum was designed in the Sixties; at that time, in Sicily, many supports were built in acrylic, because of its transparency and modellability. Unfortunately, as we mentioned, acrylic is not an elastic material! And one of the supports broke, making a statue of Kore – a 2600 years old beautiful girl – fall down. We started taking our measurements to build a new pair of shoes to our girl. Such a shame, all of this beauty not being able to meet its public anymore! (Actually, most of the artifacts lay in dark of the Museum’s basement, and we invite everybody to do what they can, in order to bring some of this design wonders to light).
I had designed this Cremacaffè-style wooden support for the statue of Kore. Then I gave a closer look at the place. The design would not match its surroundings, making the support, rather than the work of art itself, stand out. I scrapped the whole project and went for a “minimum design” approach: I would repair the broken support and make it shock resistant for the next 200 years! The old support was a modeled acrylic cylinder, with a broken plastic rod once holding up the statue. It needed a larger base to make it stable, and a new stronger rod, which I had made out of steel parts of a printer. The larger disc was lasercut in acrylic, engraved on the bottom for a better grip, and connected to the cylinder using three screws (no glue). Both acrylic surfaces were hand polished with abrasive paste, the one holding the screws with a milky finish to conceal the metallic parts; the disc at the base was left completely transparent, to disappear within the Museum cabinet.
While performing this little repair, we made the acquaintance of the whole museum staff – and as usual, everybody was involved, including our families, to devise the best way to carry out this simple task. Without this low cost retrofit, though, Kore statue would still be a sleeping beauty in our Museum’s archives.
We shared this story, along with Cremacaffè Design’s own story, with the public who attended the “Design+Nature” talk on 9th June 2015, in Gela, Sicily. We were overwhelmed with warmth, and suggestions, and questions, and creativity. Worth to mention, we met some wonderful people: Triskelion group, which is coordinating social activities, among which marine archeology summer camps, in Sicily; Renato Belluccia, a designer committed to locally sourced, innovative materials in interior and lighting design; Pino Valenti, an architect fighting for integration of people with special needs or impairments.
At the time of writing, we are in contact with them, exploring new materials, projects and forms of cooperation, and we would like to extend our invite to you: We keep on looking for nice people, to make beautiful things! Join us 😉
• fabioromano.org • Fallout