This project arises from a disaffection for marble. From viewing it as a finished product. From its possibilities for contemporary use within my industrial research, and the chance to explore such a classic material, which one might think has no secrets left to reveal. But Budri’s cheerful, positive determination to involve me, and their great expertise, aroused my curiosity. In the end I realized one thing: to deal with marble, you have to fall out of love with it. To master it, you must maintain a certain detachment. I cast aside my reservations and tried to understand its limits and possibilities.
The contradictions of a seemingly pure material whose beauty and identity nonetheless derive precisely from the mineral impurities it contains and from the metamorphic process they undergo. Indeed, it is the characteristics of the impurities that determine the colour. I’m interested in prolonging this seemingly frozen transformation. I’m attracted by the possibility of viewing marble as a three-dimensional material, striving to limit and reuse any processing residuals. In a certain sense, marble is one of history’s first recyclable and recycled materials.
So I have tried to domesticate marble’s mimetic and shifting nature, bringing it into the realm of everyday experience. In the MarbleLace project, the figure of speech “lightness of weight” takes shape, juxtaposing totally contrasting concepts: walls of interwoven marble create an impression of flowing, soft movement, an airy consistency that is in contrast with the impenetrable hardness of the material. Self-supporting modular structures become filters, screening light and air, that are far lighter than a solid slab. Negative parts, the scraps, which are also three- dimensional, become a mobile three-layer partition. This is a structure with no dimensional limits. Here, as well as study into cutting, working on a semi- processed block with an undulating cut, we also designed a mounting system to optimize transport and assembly. Three-dimensional inlay in relief is inspired by our studies of meta-organic designs and transgenic shapes, in part natural and in part changing, transforming. Microcellular organisms merge with digital patterns, forging new macrobiodigital beings. Three-dimensional laces that go beyond the idea of a seemingly two-dimensional slab. I like to understand the possibilities in terms of light of the various marbles, juxtaposing materials with different light refractive indices, like in the table, without angles or hardness; or in mono-material benches, which juxtapose contrasting shiny and opaque parts. Also in the curls of the inlay that become architectural features, freeze-framing a step in the production of these elements.
This is a study which I consider unfinished and which has allowed me to focus on the process, applying the same working method I use in my job as an industrial designer and subsequently in architecture.