Gaetano Pesce by Norna Werner

Gaetano Pesce

The Italian designer Gaetano Pesce is one of the most independent thinkers in the international design scene. He was born in Spezia, Italy in 1939.[i] Pesce studied architecture at the university if Venice. When he started working in the sixties he was very influenced by the social movements during that time. The works of the architect Carlo Scarpa and the writer Bruno Zevi had great importance for him. He has lived in Milan, Marseille, Paris and from 1980 in New York.[ii] His worldwide work as an architect and designer has been highly recognized. One of his most famous buildings is the “Organic Building” in Osaka. His highly praised designs have been included in the collections of the MoMA, Museum Arts Decoratifs, Centre Pompidou and the V&A.[iii]

Pesce’s contemporary Italian design is influenced by the context in which he works and lives. His inspiration comes from personal experiences, relationships, and from the design, art, and architecture of the past. His motivation is drawn from his curiosity and from reaction to culture and economy.[iv] In an interview he reveals that he creates his design projects in airplanes, hotel rooms and toilets.[v]

“Radical design? Design is always radical.” “Design means progress an innovation; it’s always surprising”[vi]

Pesce is probably best described as an artist-designer, his work is characterized by an indisciplinary approach to architecture and design. He is systematically subverting the process of mass production, making each piece unique.[vii] He made himself known early because of his conceptual design to comment on mass production and degradation of the environment and oppose the Bauhaus and programmatic modernism.[viii]

UP Series

1969 Pesce designed the Up series for the C&B Italia (now B&B Italia). The series are stellar examples of the radical design movement that flourished at the time. The chairs are sculptured from polyurethane foam; they spurned the formal canons of the modern movement, which radical designers believed had been commandeered by Western capitalism.[ix]

When removed from their flat-pack boxes the chairs explored into shape and adapted to different body shapes. Embracing the radical movement’s emphasis on user invention.[x]

Set up La Mamma

“We are leaving a time of standardization and moving to a time of originals. Copies are not enough; redesign and styling are not true design.”[xi]

Up 5 and 6 had an important social message. Pesce’s work has been influenced by femininity; it is said that he always surrounds himself by women. Also worth to mention is that Pesce’s mother raised him on her own and he has deep appreciation for that. The armchair “La Mamma” (Up 5 & 6 connected) is a manifest of his feminine influences. The chair connected to the footrest by an elastic cord, symbolizing a woman bound to her child by an umbilical cord. The shape of the chair is supposed to express, to both the viewer and the sitter, the love and care that a mother feels for her child.[xii]

Fish Design

The project Fish design started 1995 (Pesce means fish in Italian) and the philosophy behind it is about creating unique objects, each one different to the next. It is a polyhedric collection of artifacts made of resin produced for the home usage. From Dish Designs launch it has focused on uniqueness and the evolution of standards. Pesce says that its concept is about: humanity of the defect, beauty, joy, tactility, sensuality, sympathy, elastisy, color, femininity and of innovation.[xiii]

“The goal is to give people feelings. We need objects with a practical life, yes, but with an emotional life as well.”[xiv]

All items from Fish Design are conceived for a mass-production manufacturing approach that ensures that each piece is unique. With a manufacturing process that employs dynamic resins, each piece will be unique. Imperfections, bubbles an variations in dimensions is a part of the process. With this technique every piece is literally on of a kind. It is about imperfect art replacing traditional design. The products in Fish Design are intentionally imperfect.[xv]

“Fish design is determined to offer more warmth, good humor and affection to the spaces that house our lives and to contribute to their health”[xvi]

Pesce’s work has because if its innovative character and non- conventionalist spirit often been given a rise to uproar and controversy. His belief is that that “the future is done by originals, not by copies”.[xvii]


[i] “Gaetano Pesce”. The Swedish National Encyclopedia. Found at http://www.ne.se/gaetano-pesce. Internet: accessed April 28, 2010.

[ii] “Gaetano Pesce” in Designboom. Found at http://www.designboom.com/eng/interview/pesce.html. Internet: accessed April 15 2010.

[iii] “Fish Design”. Ambient Concept Limited. Found at http://www.ambientconcept.com/brands-fish-design.php; Internet: accessed April 29, 2010.

[iv] Alex Cotoranu. Gaetano Pesce: Ideas and Innovation. Found at http://www.sfu.ca/italiadesign/2008/…/GaetanoPesce_AlexCotoranu.pdf; Internet: accessed April 29, 2010.

[v] “Gaetano Pesce” in Designboom. Found at http://www.designboom.com/eng/interview/pesce.html. Internet: accessed April 15 2010.

[vi] 2004. “PROFILE.” Design Week 19, no. 26: 17-18. Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed April 30, 2010).

[vii] Chee Pearlman. 2003. “Design Literacy: A Primer. “Newseek 142, no. 17: 66-73. Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed April 30, 2010)

[viii] “Gaetano Pesce”. The Swedish National Encyclopedia. Found at http://www.ne.se/gaetano-pesce. Accessed April 28, 2010.

[ix] 2004. “PROFILE.” Design Week 19, no. 26: 17-18. Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed April 30, 2010).

[x] (2005. “Pop apolitical, anti-status quo, commercial.” Cabinet Maker 28-29. Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed April 30, 2010).

[xi] “PROFILE.” Design Week 19, no. 26 (2004): 17-18. Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed April 30, 2010).

[xii] Ibid.

[xiii] Gaetano Pesce, Fish Design, found at http://www.fish-design.it/main.php?lang=2. Internet: accessed April 16, 2010.

[xiv] “PROFILE.” Design Week 19, no. 26 (2004): 17-18. Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed April 30, 2010).

[xv] “Philosophy”, Fish Design, available from http://www.fish-design.it/main.php?lang=2. Internet: accessed April 16, 2010.)

[xvi] Gaetano Pesce, April 2004. Fish Design, available from http://www.fish-design.it/main.php?lang=2. Internet: accessed April 16, 2010

[xvii] Beatrice Thornton. “Gaetano Pesce and Karim Rashid at the 92Y”. Modern Magazine. Found at http://www.idealmodern.com/2009/11/gaetano-pesce-and-karim-rashid-at-92y.html; Internet: accessed April 29, 2010.

Bibliography

Austin, Tom. “MAD [FOR TEH MODERN].” Art & Antiques 30, no. 2 (February 2007): 66-71. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed April 30, 2010).

Bartolucci, Marisa. Gaetano Pesce: Compact Design Portfolio. San Francisco. Chronicle Books, 2003.

“Biography”. Gaetano Pesce. Found at http://www.gaetanopesce.com/pesce/Gaetanopesce.htm. Accessed April 15, 2010.

Block, Annie. “market.” Interior Design 78, no. 9 (July 2007): 71-80. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed April 30, 2010).

Cogeval, Guy. Boson, Giampiero. (2006) “il Modo Italiano : Italian Design and Avant-garde in the 20th Century”, Skira.

Cohen, Edie. “Gaetano Pesce.” Interior Design 77, no. 15 (December 2006): S18-22. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed April 30, 2010).

Cotoranu, Alex. Gaetano Pesce: Ideas and Innovation. Available from http://www.sfu.ca/italiadesign/2008/…/GaetanoPesce_AlexCotoranu.pdf. Accessed April 29, 2010.

“Fish Design”. Ambient Concept Limited. Found at http://www.ambientconcept.com/brands-fish-design.php; Internet: accessed April 29, 2010.

”Gaetano Pesce”. Designboom. (2000). Found at http://www.designboom.com/eng/interview/ pesce.html. Internet; accessed April 15, 2010.

”Gaetano Pesce”. Fish Design. Found at http://www.fish-design.it/main.php?lang=2; Internet: accessed April 29, 2010.

“Gaetano Pesce”. The Swedish National Encyclopedia. Found at http://www.ne.se/gaetano-pesce; Internet: accessed April 28, 2010.

Holtzman, Anna, and Elizabeth Donoff. “BOOK.” Architecture 92, no. 7 (July 2003): 97. Humanities International Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed April 30, 2010).

Pearlman, Chee. “Design Literacy: A Primer.” Newsweek 142, no. 17 (October 27, 2003): 66-73. Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed April 30, 2010).

”Philisophy”. Fish Design. Found at http://www.fish-design.it/main.php?lang=2; Internet: accessed April 29, 2010.

“Pop apolitical, anti-status quo, commercial.” Cabinet Maker (December 17, 2005): 28-29. Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed April 30, 2010).

“PROFILE.” Design Week 19, no. 26 (June 24, 2004): 17-18. Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed April 30, 2010)

Thornton, Beatrice. “Gaetano Pesce and Karim Rashid at the 92Y”. Modern Magazine. Available from http://www.idealmodern.com/2009/11/gaetano-pesce-and-karim-rashid-at-92y.html. Accessed April 29, 2010.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s