Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Treviso: Fabrica – The Design Research Area

 photograph and copyright by manfredi bellati

Treviso: Fabrica – The Design Research Area.  Based in the countryside outside Treviso, at the feet of the pre-Alps, just north of Venice is Fabrica, a global communications research center that is part of the Benetton Group.   Japanese archistar Tadao Ando took care of the renovation, enlargement and modernization of the seventeenth century Palladian style complex. Ando breathed new life into the existing structure, by creating a remarkable architectural work, bringing together the Classical beauty of Italian and Western traditions with Oriental harmony. The ancient combined with an innovative perspective on the future. Spaces for human occupancy open to the sensory elements of nature. A place where different cultures come face to face and seek a dialogue.

Fabrica:  Design Research Area. Fabrica is communications research center, not a school in the traditional sense. This means that there are no “courses”.  The residents (being Fabrica not a school, are not called “students”) learn by doing. They come from all over the world and have to pass a rigorous screening process; after which they start a period of education and research on real projects in the fields of design, photography, music, video, coding and journalism.
Above: Head of the Design Research Area at Fabrica is French designer Sam Baron, photographed here with some of the young residents; Marcello Venturini, Marta Celso, Daniela Mesina, Catarina Carreiras, Sam Baron, Dean Brown, Ferreol Babin, Ryu Yamamoto, Federico Floriani and Shek Po Kwan. They come from Italy, Portugal, France, United Kingdom, Japan and China, English is their common language spoken.

   photograph and copyright by manfredi bellati 
Fabrica. The pillars are the element of Tadao Ando’s project that unite the old with the new, they are typical of his style architecture, and at Fabrica they run right through, inside and outside, the buildings. The cedar of Lebanon tree, to your left, was transformed into a sculpture by the then residents winners of a competition to save the tree. They infiltrated flax seed oil into the branches and the trunk.

   photographs and copyright by manfredi bellati 

Fabrica. The greater portion of the structure has been placed below ground, with a stepped configuration of plazas leading down to a double-height sunken oval court

  photograph and copyright by manfredi bellati

 Fabrica. A colonnaded gallery penetrates the old villa and links it to the facilities; study rooms, studios, workshops, art gallery, auditorium, film theater, and a library, are all open to the plazas, which provides places for social exchange and creative work. The sculpture above is by 

Bita Fayyazi - Kismet, 2005.
  “The Moving Finger writes, and having writ,

Moves on; not at all thy piety nor wit

Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,

Nor all thy tears wash out a word of it.”
 Omar Khayvam

  photograph and copyright by manfredi bellati

  Fabrica – The Library.

   photograph and copyright by manfredi bellati 

 Fabrica. Design Research Area studio - researchers at work.  The Fabrica organization is built for the 21st century, and designed to address 21st century problems and opportunities. Their advantage is a diversity of people, perspectives, formats and technologies.  They work with partners on real world projects and research new ways of communication.  They learn through doing.  Dynamically they seek out the new, the unknown, the emerging; as designers, as makers, as journalists and as researchers

  Fabrica. Design Research Area studio – work in progress.  Coinciding with the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan: Fuori Salone, Fabrica and Daikin present HOT and COLD, an intriguing workshop of hot and cold experiences; a conceptual representation of temperature, an experiential journey through a series of multi-sensory artistic and sculptural installations that give shapeto air, inviting visitors to participate in an immersive laboratory

  photograph and copyright by manfredi bellati 

  Fabrica. Design Research Area studio – work in progress. Amongst the Fabrica and Daikin, Hot and Cold works that will be exhibited, at the Milan Furniture Fair, ice compositions that hold tropical plants; human warmth, provided by visitors, will melt the ice and free the plants.

   photograph and copyright by manfredi bellati

Fabrica – The Ladder.  This Ladder sculpture was conceived as a  tribute to Tadao Ando by the Design Research team of Fabrica 2000, when the Japanese architect finished renovationg the structure.

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