FLORENCE, ITALY - The Jacobsen-Binazzi Shelving Unit is a bookshelf that originated as a class project between Prof. Arch. Lapo Binazzi and his Master Student, Bethany Jacobsen, but has since transformed into a tangible, colorful design of rectangular units that can be reconfigured by the user. The project, titled Conoscenti, was selected for production by the company Genesis International of Siena who was interested in discovering young emerging designers. Made of brightly painted MDF panels, the juxtaposing primary colors accentuate the innovative qualities of this adaptable object. “The piece became independently architectural, released from any dependency on a wall - meant instead to create or define space on its own. Open-ended cubes are suspended within the frame in a variety of volumes, which can be choreographed in a number of ways. The depths of each cube are varied to create a sculptural, multi-dimensional quality,” comments Jacobsen. The design was first displayed as a prototype at the Florence Salone del Mobile this past February then the final version was premiered in April at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan.
Working in collaboration with Jacobsen was Professor and Architect, Lapo Binazzi, who remains as one of the most influential architects of the Italian Radical Design Movement from the nineteen-sixties and seventies. Lapo Binazzi comments on his course objectives, "The aim of the course is to create a bridge between two generations; The Radicals who were theorists of new types of objects and today's generation, who want to challenge new possibilities in architecture and design. 'Design is easy' could be the statement and the slogan of the course. With a practical attitude emphasized by the new media, within a five week project each student can express his own ideas and arrive to the final design with technical drawings and renderings" Binazzi explains "The radical generation started in the middle of the nineteen-sixties at the School of Architecture in Florence where they wanted to experiment with the 'here and now' and with the possibility to create original design objects that were conceived of like 'bombs in the living rooms'. Often these young designers of the 60's even self-produced their strange designs which were a cross between 'design' and 'visual arts'. Using this same logic, today the new generation of students having received the message try to create objects that challenge or even surpass many designs featured in today's most important international expositions. Deriving from this unusual situation then arises the secondary desire to give these designs a real possibility to exist. In the spirit of the self-produced designs of the 60's we could even go to the extent to construct a 'design factory' in order to make the student designs a reality"
Lapo Binazzi was born in Florence in 1943 and graduated with a degree in architecture in 1971. In 1967 he founded the UFO (with Foresi, Maschietto, Bachi and Cameo), a group that is part of the experimental climate of Radicals, with whom he has participated in numerous international exhibitions: the XIV Triennale (1968), the Paris Biennale (1971), Contemporanea in Rome (1974), and the Venice Biennale (1978). In 1973, Binazzi co-founded Global Tools, a laboratory of experimental architecture. Binazzi continues to work as an architect-artist-designer showing in notable exhibitions such as: Alchemy in Florence (1981), Documenta 8 in Kassel (1987), and The House of Dolce Stil Novo in Florence (1991). Considering design as a phenomenon of pure communication, his research focuses on trying to match the artistic experience with the same experimental design. Italian Radical Design Movement was key in solidifying Italy and Italian design as an international leader in the world of post-modern design. Lapo Binazzi is currently teaching furniture design at the Florence Institute of Design International.
arch. Marc DiDomenico
The Florence Institute of Design Intl
50123 Florence, Italy
Phone +39 0552302481
Genesi International S.r.l.
Mobili Contemporanei e Complementi
Via Selvamaggio, 23/27
53034 COLLE DI VAL D'ELSA (Siena) Italy
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