The Italian brand taps top-tier international designers to explore the concept of home.
By Rachel Gallaher
'Kore' by Patricia Urquiola for Salvatori's The Village project.
The ongoing global pandemic has changed our relationships with our spaces. From the actual houses or apartments we live in, to the idea of what home means and how that space is used, an evolution has occurred.
During this time, like many creatives around the globe, Gabriele Salvatori, CEO of Italian design brand Salvatori, had an idea. He wanted to reach out to a group of internationally noted designers and architects and have each of them design a physical manifestation of the ‘home.’ The collections would be rolled out in succession leading up to a final exhibition, The Village.
“Two things in particular really struck me,” Salvatori says about the lockdown experience. “The first was the concept of home in itself, something that events made us reevaluate, and the second thing was the spirit of solidarity showed to Italy by other countries around the world when we were one of the very first to be really hit by the virus. For me, it confirmed that suffering brings people together and that when it comes down to it, we aren’t so different from each other, no matter where we come from, what our culture is. We all want the same things: peace, love, and serenity.
“And that’s what sparked the idea of asking a handful of designers to interpret their ideal home. Home as they see it, or as they would like to see it. The idea was that we would then end up with a miniature version of the real world, which is a small but great global village. And that’s how The Village was born.”
'Assembly' by Yabu Pushelberg.
With an all-star list of designers from around the world (Kengo Kuma, Stephen Burks, John Pawson, and Patricia Urquiola are among the ranks), the project takes on a ‘global village’ mantle that feels especially relevant today. In March, Salvatori released the first of the collections, Kore, by Spanish industrial designer Patricia Urquiola. The forms, each made of a different type of stone (Alma, in Rosa Portogallo marble and Petra, in Travertine) play on the angles seen in traditional house forms, but each side presents a unique silhouette.
“The Village is a reflection on domestic spaces, something that is more important than ever today,” Urquiola says. “Home has become the center of our lives, our town or city, our habitat. We have all become domestic navigators, trying to orient ourselves to these new latitudes, ways of living. I chose the name Kore for my village as a poetic nod to the Greek statues that depict young women on the cusp of adulthood. Petra and Alma, the two types of houses in the village, evoke sentiments of domestic warmth and intimacy. I wanted to represent due worlds and two diverse, yet complementary aesthetics.”
The second release, earlier this week, is from Toronto and New York-based interiors studio Yabu Pushelberg. A trio of towers, Assembly includes the individual pieces Self, Collective, and Convergence. The collection is representative of the individual, the community, and their intersection. Each minimalist piece can stand alone, but when grouped together they communicate with one another and represent a completely different thing as a whole.
According to Salvatori, the company will continue to release collections as the year goes on, and he hopes that they can be united for an in-person exhibition, potentially at the rescheduled Salone del Mobile which is currently slated to happen in September.
“The Village is an expression of the world as it really is,” Salvatori says. “It’s a miniature representation of the world we live in, a world that sometimes it’s hard to view objectively because we’re too immersed in our own little individual world. But the world is a community, and it’s not as big or different as we tend to think. It was only the pandemic that we lived through— and are still living through—that actually made us understand this.”