Fabio Novembre, Take Two

On the heels of Alicita’s Valentine’s-themed post about Fabio Novembre’s Him & Her chairs, along comes another gesture toward the amorous by the same designer; though this time, it’s more subtle, less overtly erotic, and-dare I say-just to the left of high-kitsch. But Valentine’s day is just ahead, and in a week filled with the saccharine imagery of Hallmark Cards, red roses, and heart-shaped boxes brimming with chocolate, I think we’re allowed a little kitsch, especially if the execution is spot on.

Love Series Door Lever. Designed by Fabio Novembre for Valli & Valli.

Just so with Signor Novembre’s Love Series for Valli & Valli. In designing this collection, which goes beyond door levers to include a window handle, door knob, door pull, and coat hook, Novembre joins the high cadre of designers/architects asked by Valli and Valli to create hardware for their Fusital collection. The inclusion thus represents something of an achievement for Novembre, given that he joins such talents as Frank Gehry, Ron Arad, Jean Nouvel, and Zaha Hadid (see Duemilacinque), each of whom seem to concur that finely crafted levers and pulls confirm van der Rohe’s ubiquitous maxim, “God is in the details.” Seems to me that an architect with a designer’s sensibility would have it no other way, that the smaller parts of an overall vision are integral to a uniform aesthetic. Seen in this light, Novembre’s Love Series is right at home amid his sensuous interiors and provocative furnishings.

Fabio Novembre, Take Two

Window handle (left) and coat hook (right). Designed by Fabio Novembre for Valli & Valli.

To my eye, Novembre’s hardware is singular not for the heart-shaped terminus, but for the way in which the lines suggest movement along an axis-a nifty trick of shadow and light that takes your eye from the hardware’s point of attachment to its finished edge, which is, of course, where the user comes into physical contact with it. Novembre’s creative process sheds a bit of light on the visual dynamic: much like a virtual sculptor, he began with a traditionally-shaped cylinder in his mind’s eye then imaginatively whittled away material until arriving at the heart. One could only hope-if such be your desire this Valentine’s Day-to say the same thing of a beloved.

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