LONDON 2018 – You do not hear many news from Uruguay. At London Design Festival, the Hilos Invisibles – Invisible Threads in Spanish- exhibition at the Aram Gallery showcased the energy and ingenuity of the 4 million people country nested between Argentina and Brazil. On show contemporary designs created in collaboration with Uruguayan-born designer Matteo Fogale and paying tribute to the work of Julio Vilamajó Echaniz, Uruguay’s most eminent modernist architect and designer, .
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Fogale delved into the vast archive maintained by the carpenters who made a lot of Vilamajó’s pieces, extracting sketches of furniture, pictures and architectural details.
The seven studios that he approached to work on the are Menini-Nicola, Rafael Antía, Claudio Sibille, Estudio Diario, Carolina Palombo Piríz, Muar and Estudio Claro. All studios developed their projects in collaboration with Fogale.
Based on the detail of a Vilamajó’s unannotated drawing, possibly depicting part of a column, Ana Sosa and Guillermo Salhón of Estudio Diario have created a bench in suede and Brazilian Lapacho wood, with a side table in steel rods which can be practically moved along the seat.
Carolina Palombo Piríz paid tribute to the iconic Buena Vista hotel and restaurant which was designed by Vilamajo in 1945. The result is the Tutura high-backed chair which is made from locally sourced and crafted stone, wood and straw.
Starting from a pair of curves on a sketch of an unidentified piece of furniture, Augustín Menini and Carlo Nicola of Nicola-Menini designed a lozenge-shaped revolving mirror in glass, steel and Paraguayan Petiribi wood.
Muar presented Americana, a mirror cabinet made of elm root, stopsol crystal, bronze and stoneware crafted by local artisans. Claudio Sibille created a sleek and angular wooden shelf named Rama which snakes up into the room with sleek design. Estudio Claro presented the linear Medianera lamps made of steel. On show also Modernist MCV tables by Rafael Antía made from a concrete and glass.
Uruguay shone at London Design Festival also at designjunction which showcased A Natural Collective, an exhibition presenting the work of 9 Uruguayan designers blending of natural materials and traditional techniques.
All photos: courtesy of Matteo Fogale.