The Village Collection by Salvatori: An interview with Elisa Ossino
We talk with Elisa Ossino about The Village
Reinterpreting reality through art enables us to not only embrace change, but to metabolise it and make it part of us, simultaneously forcing us to acquire a completely new point of view that simulates understanding and a renaissance in thinking.
During the 2020 lockdown, for many of us all around the world, our lives underwent a series of extraordinarily unexpected changes that affected our daily lives in ways we could never have previously contemplated. Instead of the hectic pace of life many of us were perhaps used to, where we often had no time to even think, we found ourselves reinventing a new normality. We discovered new rhythms and, perhaps even more significantly, rediscovered the importance of an old friend: our home.
At Salvatori, we reflected upon this change and decided to celebrate the idea of home as a refuge and a place that resonated with our hearts, rather than being regarded as a mere functional structure. And so, The Village was born.
We wanted to create a project that resonated with human beings the world over, and so we invited designers from around the globe to be involved. Some were new names, while others were old friends with whom we had worked on many occasions in the past. We invited them to design their idea of what home represented, perhaps linked to their childhood or their experience. The result is an eclectic, multi-coloured collection of contemporary home accessories that reflect the diverse nature of the world we inhabit.
Each sculpture is perfect on its own, but blends seamlessly with the other pieces in the collection to express the sense of solidarity and community that unites us all, no matter which part of the globe we hail from.
Among the artists we wanted to take part in this project that was so special to us, was of course Elisa Ossino. We have worked with her for many years, creating gorgeous bathroom collections, textures, wall art and home accessories, and she shares our vision for understated design that speaks to the heart.
We talk to the Sicilian-born architect and designer about her creative approach and the inspiration behind her contribution to The Village.
How do you see design within the context of natural stone?
For me, it is incredibly stimulating to have the chance to create objects that will be reproduced in certain quantities, but at the same each will be unique. The beauty of stone, and what makes it so fascinating, is the fact that it can’t be replicated. Every block has its own completely unique colours and veining.
Speaking about The Village, in your view, how is design linked to our special places, those places we hold dear to our hearts?
It’s very clear to me that one of the main applications of design is linked to daily life. Home and the objects it contains together create a place that welcomes us, a type of haven or nest, and from this point of view it is closely linked to emotional aspects and intimacy.
What principles guided you in designing your sculpture for The Village?
It is an abstract project that is inspired by metaphysics, by geometric blocks with classic references and “Escherian” flights of steps. On one hand I was guided by a kind of fantasy-like aspect, miniature pieces of suspended architecture inspired by the work of utopian designers, hence the name of the collection, Utopia. On the other hand, I wanted to emphasise the playfulness of the project, because I find it really interesting how stairs can either embrace or remove in architecture. And so, all the modular pieces can be put together in various ways, just like a building block game.
How important is functionality in design for you?
I think it is fundamental, but I like to conceal it. My designs tend to be quite abstract, I try to hide any functional parts as much as possible, so that I can concentrate more on the overall impact.
How do you see the role and contribution of sustainability in the future of design?
Paying attention to materials and production processes was already happening, but today it has become a matter of urgency. It’s crucial that we work in ways that minimise any impact on the environment, and we have to think in terms of the circular economy. I believe we have to take a design approach that is more aware and fosters synergy among different knowledge bases and also thinks about all the various social aspects.
How did you find the experience of working with Salvatori?
Gabriele Salvatori is a friend and he’s also an incredible entrepreneur. Working with his company is extremely stimulating. Even the most complex designs and projects that I’ve suggested over the years have been embraced as a challenge, and their know-how and experience rises to those challenges. I still remember how we created an oversize Urano lamp using sophisticated machinery but then finished by hand by their master artisans. And then there is my Balnea bathtub which was created as though it were a work of art, an almost sculptural piece that I just love.
What stone did you use for your piece and why?
I chose Bianco Carrara, Palissandro Bluette and Grigio Versilia. These are stones with tonal variations that work in harmony together and are the perfect match for the miniature pieces of architecture I designed.
The Village combines the best of Made in Italy craftsmanship and design with an undeniably cosmopolitan soul to create a range of exquisite home accessories. Destined to add charm and a welcoming touch to any room, these miniature sculptures are the perfect expression of the Salvatori mission to create contemporary design that touches the emotions and causes us to think.