aPoF, Ermanno Previdi, Federico Maddalozzo, Forniture Pallotta, pconp studio

Dal cucchiaio alla città

For this year's edition of Milano Design Week, pconp is pleased to welcome at Spazio Lima "Dal Cucchiaio alla città", a project featuring new works by a Piece of Furniture, the artist collective formed by Federico Maddalozzo and Davide Zucco, with a special partecipation of pconp studio, and a collaboration with Forniture Pallotta.

opening 19 April 6 – 9 pm
on show 20 April – 10 June 2023
20/04-23/04 11 am - 6 pm
26/04-10/06 by appointment

Spazio Lima
Via Benedetto Marcello 2
20124 Milan

From the Spoon…
(rethinking Modernism)

Anyone who’s worked at pconp knows that, before approaching a new project, the owner and founder of the firm Ermanno Previdi likes to remind one that an architect has to know how to design "from the spoon to the city." Repeated over the years, it’s become such a catchphrase that Spazio Lima has decided to borrow it to celebrate the spirit in which pconp and Spazio Lima understand design work.

It was back in 1953 that architect Ernesto Nathan Rogers formulated the famous slogan, in the Athens Paper. In the 1950s Rogers became a voice for the transition of Italian culture from the rationalism of the 1930s to postwar modernism. A transition that had to take into account the needs of that particular historical period without, however, contradicting the Bauhaus experience. In a Europe that needed to be rebuilt entirely, Rogers’ idea was a eulogy to versatility, and an invitation to roll up one's sleeves!

This openness to novelty respectful to its modernist roots was followed by the revolutions of the 1960s, the radicalisms of the 1970s, and the skepticism and irony of the 1980s. Achille Castiglioni's Toio lamp (1962), Superstudio's Quaderna furniture series (1972), and Ettore Sottsass's Carlton bookcase (1981) are just a few examples of how the idea of a reciprocity between form and function was gradually abandoned.

Today we are in a period of transition that calls for greater resilience and sustainability. In this sense, a newfound aesthetics of function can return to suggest solutions, provided it takes into account contemporary ecological urgencies and is not reduced to an empty aesthetic fad.

Virgil Abloh, in one of his writings published in Domus in September 2021, argues that today, in an age when everything has already been invented and reinterpreted, it is enough to modify an existing object by 3 percent to achieve something new: "This 3 percent is, ultimately, self-conceded freedom. It is making design go forward, which sometimes means taking a step backward.”

In a sense, from this self-conceded freedom, Ermanno Previdi carves out his space for action to design a spoon for the Spazio Lima. A spoon-fork. A "foon" or a "spork," the ready-made meets 3D printing! A provocation, certainly, that combines the simple and functional aesthetics of an entry-level fork from IKEA, with the urgency of ecological and sustainable design linked to upcycling processes (the starting object is a piece of cutlery recovered from the studio's kitchen drawers) and the need to engage with new technologies and materials. An invitation to reflect, not without a hint of irony, on the profession of the architect, with the conviction that, by pursuing a renewed idea of modernity, it is still possible to reshape the society in which we live.

…to the city
(an homage to Milan)

On the one hand, the spoon that represents the ultimate in ergonomics, being the quintessential tool that helps man in a function as primordial as eating; on the other hand, the city, a system of complex functions that always places man at the center.

a Piece of Furniture (the Berlin-based collective formed by Federico Maddalozzo and Davide Zucco), together with Forniture Pallotta (the artistic catering service founded by Alessandra Pallotta) and architects Elisabetta Zuccala and Andrea Gruber of studio pconp, share the exhibition space with Federico Maddalozzo and his exhibition Sundays, to create an installation that aims to be a tribute to the city, with a focus on Milan, its architecture and atmosphere.

The works by a Piece of Furniture are functional sculptures that in the exhibition From the Spoon to the City manifest themselves in the form of three shelf and tray structures. Born from observing the landscape of urban suburbs, the colors of these sculptures are inspired by the hues of many residential buildings constructed at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s, and the plastic elements were suggested by an idea of DIY construction. What is evoked by a Piece of Furniture is the aesthetic of scaffolding, framework, and exposed iron rods typical in buildings still under construction.

To support and contextualize this sampling of forms borrowed from the construction industry, the displays by architects Elisabetta Zuccala and Andrea Gruber come into play. Inspired by the most iconic skyscrapers of Milan - Pirelli, Velasca and the Bosco verticale - the plinths made in MDF retrace the stages of the history of a vertical Milan with a light and playful spirit.

Forniture Pallotta, with its work designed for spazio lima in dialogue with a Piece of Furniture and studio pconp, celebrates the lighter, worldly side of the city through one of its most iconic traditions: the Milanese aperitivo. In an interplay of colors, textures and scents, and creating compositions in which art, design and gastronomic culture are mixed, Forniture Pallotta brings back to life, with an immersive set-up, that atmosphere of both amusement and nostalgia, made up of wood and brass counters, waiters in livery, chips and pickled olives, sipping the now legendary Negroni Sbagliato from Bar Basso, or the Zucca from Camparino, a favorite of musicians who drank it before performing at the Scala.

And so to the rhythm of tinkling shakers, the spoon and the city become a pretext for reflecting on the conditions of contemporary living at a time in history when the challenges for a designer are increasing exponentially.

© Photos by Beatrice Benatti
© Photos by Isa De Luca