FENDI’s roman molds collection by kueng caputo references its rome HQ at design miami/

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designed by architects giovanni guerrini, ernesto bruno lapadula and mario romano, and inaugurated in 1940, rome’s palazzo della civiltà italiana is one of the city’s most well-known buildings. initiated in 1935 by benito mussolini for the planned 1942 world exhibition, and envisioned as a symbol of fascism for the world, the building is home to FENDI since 2015. for the 2019 edition of design miami/, the italian fashion house has commissioned zurich-based studio kueng caputo (lovis caputo and sarah kueng) to create ten design pieces intended to decorate the exterior colonnade of its iconic headquarters.

FENDI's roman molds collection by kueng caputo references its rome HQ at design miami/

FENDI's roman molds collection by kueng caputo references its rome HQ at design miami/
image © designboom

in roman molds — the name given to the project — rome’s palazzo della civiltà italiana served as the starting point for kueng caputo’s exploration of the ways in which the building and FENDI DNA interact. the resulting collection presented at design miami/ during miami art week 2019 captures the tension that has historically informed much of the house’s best output—traditional craft disrupted by innovation. comprised of ten pieces, the collection is meant to be building blocks that once multiplied, would create a series of intimate rooms for socializing, escaping, and working on the grand loggias of the palazzo della civiltà italiana.

FENDI's roman molds collection by kueng caputo references its rome HQ at design miami/

FENDI's roman molds collection by kueng caputo references its rome HQ at design miami/
image © designboom

founded almost a century ago, FENDI’s mission has continued to be the same: to redefine luxury through the development of new materials and techniques while pushing traditional methodologies and handcraft in new directions. when creating roman mold, kueng caputo had in mind also the ‘made in italy’ principle, something that FENDI represents through the union of craft, technology and innovation. driven by this spirit, the designers combined two of the most divergent materials possible: FENDI’S iconic supple selleria roman leather and the versatile, yet unpretentious terracotta brick. the natural, delicately pebbled surface of the leather has a unique depth of color and feel and inspired the duo to explore its many possibilities.

FENDI's roman molds collection by kueng caputo references its rome HQ at design miami/

FENDI's roman molds collection by kueng caputo references its rome HQ at design miami/
image © designboom

roman molds, the family of ten colorful and experimental pieces, features, among others, a bench in shades of green and blue, wavy stools with lively nuances combined with the most delicate pastels, and a table with a pink outer surface that surprisingly reveals an orange arched based. with the collection, the designers worked to transform the house’s eponymous soft leather into a structural material, giving it solidity and strength. their aim was to push the material to look and feel different than usual expectations of leather by molding and forming it into seemingly weight-bearing materiality. the leather is combined with artisanal bricks that have been carved and shaped in a manner that is more akin to cutting a garment pattern than the traditional techniques used in brick construction.

FENDI's roman molds collection by kueng caputo references its rome HQ at design miami/

FENDI's roman molds collection by kueng caputo references its rome HQ at design miami/
image © designboom

in this way, bricks are cut to represent the iconic arches of the palazzo della civiltà italiana in many of the pieces of furniture in the roman molds collection. the technically innovative bricks are then further elevated by the application of specially developed ceramic glazes that vibrate intensely alongside the richly hued selleria leathers, creating blocks of color that further iterate the color blocking tendency that is so ingrained in FENDI DNA.

FENDI's roman molds collection by kueng caputo references its rome HQ at design miami/

FENDI's roman molds collection by kueng caputo references its rome HQ at design miami/
image © designboom

FENDI's roman molds collection by kueng caputo references its rome HQ at design miami/

FENDI's roman molds collection by kueng caputo references its rome HQ at design miami/
image © designboom

FENDI's roman molds collection by kueng caputo references its rome HQ at design miami/

FENDI's roman molds collection by kueng caputo references its rome HQ at design miami/
image © designboom


image © designboom

FENDI's roman molds collection by kueng caputo references its rome HQ at design miami/

FENDI's roman molds collection by kueng caputo references its rome HQ at design miami/
image © designboom


image © designboom


image © designboom


image © designboom

project info:

name: roman molds

designer: kueng caputo

company: FENDI

presented at: design miami/ 2019

juliana neira I designboom

dec 04, 2019

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