The importance of an eclectic mindset – a story of collaboration

Finemateria Studio and QuadroDesign elucidate the practical and transparent approach through which a brand can engage with design culture.

Enrico Magistro of QuadroDesign is an eclectic character, he apparently has an urge to discuss the borders of a brand practice to build a more organic list of projects that goes far behind the idea of simply producing goods. The focus here is to participate in a cultural conversation by all, to retrace the historical Italian design path leading to a declared reciprocity with the world of creative innovation, research and re-definition of the contemporary material culture. 

The collaboration with selected designers to build a new idea of brand

Magistro’s way is very simple. It starts with a bold recreation of a family enterprise. It continues with its rebranding and revolutionizing traditional local tap manufacturing by choosing more sustainable materials and production processes. And of course, it passes through the collaboration with emerging or talented designers to construct an essential, timeless catalog of solid and durable items. 

Fontanella is a nomadic drinking fountain for “Rooting/Radicarsi”, the first urban design and arts festival organized and hosted by Dopo?

We have already talked about QuadroDesign:

This time we would like to let design speak, in the persons of Finemateria. The choice is due to the impressive cultural competence of this young Milanese studio and its capacity to develop a relationship with QuadroDesign that surpasses the borders of product ideation to explore a different and brand-new course of the brand. A little collection of design “delikatessen” completing and highlighting the brand’s expertise, which will be very soon in the online shop of QuadroDesign.

Finemateria Studio and QuadroDesign

 “We started to talk with Enrico Magistro about two years ago,” says Gianluca Sigismondi and Stefano Bassan, Studio Finemateria. “As usual we ended up being friends: the human factor is very important to us. A collaboration begins with a spark during a conversation, the unveiling of shared ideals and visions. Manifesting the will to focus on the production process, to aesthetically explore the invisible parts of industrial manufacturing, is one of the core values for both us and Enrico Magistro. He knows a lot about design, his culture is rooted in a real passion for the manufacturing area. The pleasure to deal with people we trust both from a human and cultural side is a significant part of a thriving collaboration with brands”.

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I Giorni, a perpetual table calendar by Finemateria, is the first project of the studio for QuadroDesign. 

Going behind the limits of a brand identity

The first project by Finemateria for QuadroDesign is not a tap, by the end. Quite surprisingly it is a desk calendar. “The brief was to work on something outside the boundaries of QuadroDesign. This is an idea Enrico Magistro has been cultivating for some time before having the possibility to develop it more pragmatically. As we understand it, the aim is to develop a collection of small design objects that would ideally express QuadroDesign’s identity and bring in an eclectic experience. Enrico Magistro is an oblivious patron.” 

Long story short: it is a way to interweave a deep relation with the QuadroDesign network: clients, architects, people. And, as Philippe Starck said about his Juicy Salif for Alessi: “It is not about squeezing lemons, it is about starting a conversation”.

A calendar, not a tap

Finemateria: “The idea behind “I Giorni” (“Days”, the name of the perpetual calendar) is really simple. Three stainless steel cylinders lay on a warm oak wood base. That’s all. The interesting part is the complex manufacturing, indeed. The stainless steel cylinders are engraved with numbers corresponding to days and months. It is a very delicate and elaborate procedure that involves goldsmith expertise and a very sophisticated and precise intervention. The incisions are made with a circular millimeter milling and the metal parts have a peculiar shining and brilliant finishing that enhances the minimalistic projectual intervention”.

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I Giorni is a surprisingly simple object, although functional. Its manufacture enlightens QuadroDesign productive skills so as to become a reminder of the brand’s industrial identity.

An object to talk about brand culture

“I Giorni” perfectly expresses QuadroDesign’s key competences: the exceptional manufacturing techniques, the durability and aesthetic side of the materials, and the idea of a durable and timeless companion truly enabling the vision of a contemporary industry. 

It overlaps in a very spontaneous way all the production issues of the environmental crisis: lifecycle, resistance and formal attention to material scarcity. The calendar intimately works with its conceptual meaning: “The truth is that it is an object that you can play with, it has nice sounds, it has a very broad perception quality. It overlaps its functions by becoming something more than a calendar”.

A drinking fountain for an urban festival

Finemateria’s collaboration with QuadroDesign brought also another unexpected and, for the moment, ephemeral project. The Milanese studio signed a nomadic drinking fountain for “Rooting/Radicarsi”, the first urban design and arts festival organized and hosted by Dopo? Space conceived as a relationship device between the cultural center and the neighborhood that hosts it: Corvetto in Milan. 

Finemateria: “Fontanella is a dynamic drinking water supply station, ready to move with people to follow the busy Festival schedule. It is made entirely of steel on a structure reduced to a minimum. It is an extreme formal synthesis capable of highlighting the technical and material qualities of the QuadroDesign products installed on it: above the tap, knob and a drain grate, underneath each component is laid bare.

The drinking fountain Fontanella combines the rational attitude to a very ordinary issue (how to displace a water tool in the context of a collective event) to QuadroDesign essential design mindset – ph @nonfuturo

Choosing the right design studio to enhance a brand eclectic culture

QuadroDesign recent projects involved many cutting-edge design studios. Formafantasma signed the FFQD tap collection after a detailed research on the hydraulic and mechanical nomenclature of the traditional tap. An operation that led to the actual innovation of its parts according to a more contemporary idea of manufacturing lines.

Maddalena Casadei worked on Eccetera, a family of accessories that follows QuadroDesign guidelines: cleanliness, rigor, and simplicity. Defined and precise contours that cut out the material. Ninety-degree folds give life to the various elements within the collection. Everything is declared, even the wall fixings.


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