Design – “My grandad directed construction sites in Paris back in the fifties and I married a surveyor. These venues have always been part of my life.” Says Antonella Galimberti. “They are the embryos of archistars’ projects or simple family homes that do not exist yet but are full of potential. I thought to materials, objects and elements that inhabit construction sites, all very familiar but often ignored.”
Italian designer Lorenzo Damiani created Tuttitubi, a collection of seats entirely made from upcycled plastic plumbing pipes. The series comprises an armchair, a chair and a kids chair for outdoor and indoor use that can be disassembled to create unexpected furniture. “Design means research, experimentation and simplification.” Says the designer and inventor with a sustainable mindset.
The iconic Boalum lamp by Gianfranco Frattini e Livio Castiglioni for Artemide, 1970, is inspired by construction sites’ PVC pipes. It consists of a white and flexible PVC tube lit from within that can be joined together to create a long pipe emanating a diffuse light. Extended on the floor, hung or coiled, it becomes and luminous sculpture. Boalum is now part of several design museums’ collections. The ultimate version features highly efficient LED light sources.
Korean artist and designer Lee Sanghyeok took inspiration from traditional metal scaffolding to create the Useful Arbeitsloser system. Made of maple wood with refined brass joints and with a distinct nomadic imprint, the series comprises a bookshelf, seats, benches and a working table. If only scaffolding were this beautiful.
The Ruspa lamp by architect and designer Gae Aulenti clearly recalls a bulldozer. Designed in 1968 for Martinelli Luce is available with one to four independently rotating arms. On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the death of the architect, the Italian lighting design company released a yellow limited edition.
Trotter by Dutch designer Rogier Marters for Italian company Magis is a playful mobile chair for kids inspired by a wheelbarrow. It consists of a green varnished steel structure with an orange wheel. Easy to move around, it invites kids to be active. I believe that growing up surrounded by beautiful objects helps to become happier and more determined.
The Ludusludus mat by Emilio Salvatore Leo for Lanificio Leo is a polyethylene and felted wood mat recalling the pattern of construction site nets. The carpet is 100% handmade in collaboration with Feltrificio Gusmini 1887. Lanificio Leo is the oldest textile factory in Calabria in southern Italy, where historic machines and cutting-edge technologies create contemporary design.
Without elderly men checking on the works in progress, construction sites wouldn’t be complete! L’Umarell – the Milanese name of such a curious character – is a 14 cm-tall statue paying tribute to these unrequested guardians criticizing architects and bricklayers with their hands behind their back. Produced by Moroni Gomma and available in six vibrant colours, they can now check also on you when you work at your desk.
Bastaaa – A screamed exclamation for enough in Italian – is a set of three hammers on the wall that double as coat hangers. Designed by Marcantonio for Mogg, Bastaaa transforms the furious act of hammering something into a tongue-in-cheek design.
It is made of concrete, the primal matter of construction sites, the smoothed Itai round table by Kave Home. Thanks to the minimalistic look, it perfectly fits in both interiors and outdoor environments. Under the table top are integrated handles to easily move it around.
Novel Drink Cup comes in the shape of a bulldozer’s bucket. Made of almost unbreakable and heat-proof ABS plastic, the sturdy mug is available in yellow, orange and black. To match it, a shovel-shaped teaspoon. Perfect for a coffee with the construction site manager to decide the next assignments or to obtain a day off. Available on Amazon.