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27 January 2022
Architecture, design and sculpture: Mangiarotti has translated these multiple disciplines into unique and iconic projects
Sinuous curves and unexpected joints, architectural encounters of masculine and feminine, furnishings and lights with great formal power. The design legacy of Angelo Mangiarotti, ten years after his death, is monumental. Each project contains a design lesson, an idea to be inspired by, to which many projects of the new generation of designers, of which Mangiarotti is one of the favorite masters, concretely refer. His furnishings – primarily those produced by Agapecasa – are characterized by essential lines accompanied by design ideas of great impact. There is a deep knowledge of materials and a total confidence in furniture engineering. Mangiarotti experiments with daring joints, asymmetries, new balances never experienced before. And this is how he leaves his mark, offering the world a series of furnishings and accessories that go beyond time and are not afraid of changing trends.
In Angelo Mangiarotti’s furniture production, tables are among the most significant and sought-after elements. In particular Eccentrico is the image of the designer’s research who knows how to move with absolute ease through the founding principles of architecture. His confidence is such as to allow him an experiment taken to the extreme. This is where Eccentrico was born, in the dining and living room versions. The elliptical top is inserted asymmetrically into the inclined cylindrical leg: everything seems impossible but instead it is perfect. The choice of material adds even more depth to the project: a precious marble in different finishes that makes Eccentrico an authentic furnishing sculpture.
Like Eccentrico, the Loico bookcase is also in marble, an unusual material for this type of furniture yet perfectly in line with this design. Mangiarotti lends this material to modularity, designing a stackable bookcase made up of two lateral cylinders in which to fit the shelves according to different configurations. The result is of great visual impact while remaining extremely elegant and composed.
The interlocking is therefore a recurring motif in the design of Mangiarotti who with Cavalletto patents a modular shelving system with an informal style but with great design refinement. The easel (cavalletto in Italian) from which it takes its name has an overlapping “V” shape to modulate the height of the bookcase and the number of shelves. Closed containers can also be applied to the same joints. Imagined in 1953, it has a style that is still perfectly current that easily integrates into contemporary contexts.
The Lari table lamp, produced today by Karakter, is a luminous architecture that evokes, on a smaller scale, the design style that Mangiarotti translated into his buildings. Round shapes alternating with grooves give a perfect balance to the lamp. The design enhances the hand-blown glass, this material is in fact the true protagonist of the lamp. The light canopy rests on a discreet aluminum and steel base that also contains the electrical components. A real table sculpture.
A similar principle is applied to the Lesbo lamp for Artemide which, however, returns a completely different formal result. Also in this case, the metal base contains all the electrical components and is a support for the hand-blown glass element. The shape is organic and immediately recognizable and resembles that of a mushroom. The light produced is soft and relaxing, a slight indentation on the top makes it dynamic and interesting.
The Giogali lighting system, on the other hand, has a completely different setting: it consists of a series of crystal hooks to be assembled in a different way. The result is a show of reflections and transparencies that enhances the material and has a strong decorative impact that can be appreciated even when the lights are off. An expression of the most poetic and delicate nuance of Mangiarotti’s production.
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