The online platform MOM always hosts an exhibition at Maison et Objet. Italian designer Roberto Sironi discusses his work curating this year’s exhibition.
MOM stands for Maison & Objet and More because it is more. As a digital platform it resembles an online store; however, the exchange between viewer and exhibitor is exclusive, which means that one must create an account in order to sign-in and request information. The experience of having a one-on-one discussion about the pieces during the fair enhances the level of exclusivity as both viewer and exhibitor have already had the opportunity to connect.
The online platform hosts a curated exhibition at Maison et Objet that displays distinguished selections from well-known designers and artists. These pieces within the MOM inventory are contextualized in regards to the universe of the curator, helping viewers to see the works in a new regard. ArchiExpo e-Magazine had the opportunity to have a conversation with Italian designer Roberto Sironi, who curated this year’s exhibition, about his selection for the MOM platform.
As an Italian designer living in Milan, Sironi also exhibits internationally. During his exhibition FUOCO at Gallery S.Bensimon in 2017, the designer met Livia Grandi from the Agence 14 Septembre who later put him in contact with MOM, resulting in an opportunity to curate his own selection. In order to organize his choosing, Sironi was given the task of picking from MOM’s wide range of online products which he explained:
The range of products was really wide and I must say that the final selection wasn’t easy!”
His decision-making process considered the talent of the designers and the abilities of the producers while keeping in mind some of the objects that he saw in person during the annual visit to the Maison&Objet fair. Some of the products exhibited included The New Table by concept store Merci—it is the first set of dishes released by Merci, created in collaboration with Serax and launched in 2017—, olive jars Prestige Patina by Terres d’Albine, children’s tent called Huts by nobodinoz, wood basket and companion set Emma by Eldvarm—mentioned in ArchiExpo e-Magazine’s piece on M&O 2017—, the 1TAPI 08 rug by La Cabane de Stella and many more.
However, in order to contextualize the collection, he stuck close to his own sensibilities. As Roberto explained:
In my selection, there are some characteristics in common with my language: a synthetic style combined with the raw and strong expression of the material.”
Seeking to find a relationship between other designs and his own design ideas and material understandings, Sironi underscored material elements.
There is an affinity between the selected objects and the materials I use in my projects: glass, marble, leather, all of them are pure and solid, with an intrinsic sculptural value.”
Of the pieces that the designer selected, all explored the limits and boundaries of how material takes on particular forms, while a handful was made of glass. One, in particular, is unique in its appearance, the work Voisins by Desislava Stoilova is seemingly a two-dimensional painting or drawing yet is actually made of pate de verre, a type of glass paste. In conversation with ArchiExpo E-magazine about her material process, Stoilova explained that she sees glass as a field of research.
I love to experiment and explore all the material’s possibilities.”
Living in a rural area surrounded by old farms and buildings in ruin, she observes the world around her and works inspired by the history and structures in her environment.
Very clean, my work showcases forms and colors. Looking for the essential, I love to talk about time passing through the substance.”
Roberto Sironi was also interested in showcasing the work of certain designers that he was already aware of, such as Guillaume Delvigne who designed La Chance’s Toy, one of the selected pieces. Made of glass and hand-painted with patterns, the sculptural features of Toy caught Sironi’s attention.
One may also recognize a correspondence between Sironi’s work and the work of Gilles Caffier, whose piece FT127BA is part of the selection. With a distinct surface quality that recalls dried or charred vegetal, Caffier’s work follows a similar vein found in Sironi’s work which at times explores the transformation and effects that natural forces have on raw materials.
Although Sironi has not taken the role of curator or organizer in the past, this experience was definitely a delight for the designer and he clearly stated that he would love to do it again!
Roberto Sironi design practice engages in the historical memory of matter and researches aspects of art, technology and craftsmanship. He is also a professor at Design Department of Politecnico di Milano.