A dazzling fusion of design, architecture and art with Raffaele Salvoldi



“Through Raffaele’s works, we want to restore dignity to every single fragment of raw material by taking a parsimonious approach and highlighting the idea that “top grade” and “second grade” materials don’t exist. Instead, it’s up to us to be smart and use each element that nature provides in the best way possible.” – Gabriele Salvatori

Co-creation and sustainability make for a fascinating live design performance

Milan Design Week 2023 is the perfect forum to place the spotlight on co-creation, sustainability and custom-tailoring, three topics that are close to our heart and which run through the new products and initiatives we will be presenting when Fuorisalone begins in just over a week.

At Salvatori, we are extremely aware of the privilege and responsibility that comes with working with such a rare and precious material as natural stone, and in a bid to reduce waste, we have developed a number of eco-friendly products and processes over the years.

Our latest collections take this one step further. Not only do they minimise use of new materials, but they are also based on a co-creative approach which is all about involving clients in the creative process, inviting them to customise products to reflect their own style and needs.

The collaboration with emerging artist Raffaele Salvoldi is the perfect example of this philosophy and is also part of our commitment to promoting artists and works that centre round human beings and respect for the environment.

Salvoldi departs from his favoured material of wood to work with natural stone for the first time. During Design Week, visitors to Salvatori’s Brera showroom and boutique will be able to view three imposing installations, each made up of hundreds of small building bricks of natural stone that have been cut from production discards.


Raffaele Salvoldi and his work

Already established as a director of photography, in 2021, Raffaele Salvoldi embarked on a journey of artistic experimentation when he began to create small but complex architectural works using batons of wood and creating live theatrical performances in domestic settings.

This artistic journey began during lockdown with an exploration of how he could combine his two life-long passions of wood and architecture. He then started to work with a company that produced wooden blocks and his constructions grew in size and impact, but the real turning point came about when he created a work inside a neoclassic palace in Novara. It was at this point he fully understood the immense potential of his artform and how he could involve others in it by creating a synergy between all the elements, ie the space, he himself, his creations and spectators.


Raffaele Salvoldi thinks of his artistic performances not as an exhibition, but as an open window on a live creative process and a unique experience for the public who watch it unfold. There is no predetermined design, but instead his constructions spring from a dynamic flux and a dialogue between the artist and the space. It becomes a conversation that allows the work to be assimilated into the setting so that the result is a sense of harmony.

The other distinctive element of his work is that every creation is built and then dismantled in line with an ethos that is both sustainable and interactive. This cycle of construction and demolition means he simply reuses his building blocks time after time, while also involving spectators in a dynamic, participatory experience.


Intricate, fascinating structures in natural stone

The collaboration between Salvatori and Raffaele Salvoldi takes the form of three extraordinary works that will be on display during Milan Design Week 2023.

Two will be on display in the Salvatori showroom at via Solferino 11. The first will greet visitors at the ground floor entrance, while the second will be in the Room of Mirrors where its multiple reflections will create a dazzling kaleidoscopic effect. The third piece will be built during Design Week at the Salvatori boutique on the corner of via Palermo and Largo Treves, with the artist constructing it in real time in what promises to be a delicate, intriguing performance.

Using Bianco Carrara, Pietra d’Avola and Grigio Versilia, Raffaele Salvoldi will create imposing, audacious installations. The move to natural stone also allows him to finally build permanent works of art, in comparison with his usual constructions in wood .

There is one last special contribution he is bringing to Salvatori’s 2023 Fuorisalone and that is a limited-edition series of ten stunning lamps in natural stone, each representing a miniature piece of architecture that is the happy sum of the synergy between artist, material, time and space.

We don’t want to give away too much at this stage, but instead invite you to discover the unique and fascinating work of Raffaele Salvoldi during Milan Design Week, from 18 to 23 April at the Salvatori showroom in the Brera district. Rest assured, this is a wonderful opportunity to witness the wow effect that results from the perfect triumvirate of art, design and architecture.

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