Architect with a twist

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Natascha Madeiski, an architect and object designer from Italy, explores her creativity in different fields – we can find her in the crossroads of architecture, furniture design, lightning, product design and even ceramics. Always looking for innovation and interesting design decisions, she knows how to make the conceptual objects highly desirable. Llamas’ Valley gets in touch with the creative artist.

NataschaMadeiski Portrait

Natascha, you are engaged in different design spheres – architecture, furniture, interior objects. Which one is your favorite?

There is no favourite. I have studied architecture and I love model making. When you work in a smaller scale (as I do with ceramics for example) you get quicker results and the way to achieve them often seems less complex and quite rewarding.

You are also a teacher of architecture. What is the most important thing you want to tell your students?

Be passionate, work hard and travel to see things.

NowandThen11-archived

NowandThen7-window1

One of your projects – a set of containers – was born from collaboration with jewellery designer Linnie Mclarty. Why did you decide to choose container as the design object? The choice is not very usual. 

This project began with a trip to Byblos, close to Beirut in Lebanon. Inspired by architectural elements and by their re-purposing throughout history, and also by the local craftsmanship in the past and present, we developed a series of ceramic containers and metal utensils. Referencing to the traditions of burial objects and the significantly large number of ceramic and metal ‘grave goods’ found in Byblos, the resulting containers with their additional metal tools took on an anthropomorphic quality, becoming almost like soldiers guarding the things inside.

NowandThen9-window detail1

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NowandThen4-4 white

NowandThen2-4 salmon

NowandThen1-4 green

Nowand Then3-4 grey

It seems that you’re interested in playing with lights – your projects “Scarlet”, “Haircut” and “Naked city light” are exploring the different possibilities of lighting.

I love lights as objects and when I develop something there is usually a strong reference to my background as an architect. “Naked City” was a project resulting from a collaboration with an architect Alex Graef and an italian paper manufacturer, Fedrigoni. This lamp uses different styreotyped layers and scales of architecture in a very playful way and combines them in the oversized lantern in the shape of a fantasy city made out of parchment paper. There are lots of details to discover – the longer you look at the object, you discover for example hidden staircases, openings or a support structure that can be seen only as a shadow behind the city facade. “Haircut” is a lamp that again uses paper to diffuse the light. The paper is cut into many thin stripes and can be arranged and styled like hair. “Scarlet” is made from wood and is very much an object that looks at how you could approach one and the same object in one material, but in different ways or at different stages of a product development.

Haircut2

Scarlet4

Scarlet3

Scarlet2

Scarlet1

You’re also experimenting with ceramics – do you like this material? 

Ceramics are a fantastic material – they are so versatile and there are so many different ways to work with that. You might think you know how to do this and still it won’t react the same way as it did in previous firings, it’s often a real gamble and very intriguing.

What are your projects for the future?

Linnie and I are currently working on a few new projects which will be launched very soon together as part of our newly established studio.

What things are the most important for you in design?

For me it’s never just about the object, there is always a story or narrative that feeds into a project. I like the outcome to be something useful and desirable.

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