Designer Iosa Ghini Addresses Doors

Doors seem to be an under-represented object in the design world today.  Obviously manufacturers are producing them, but designers don’t seem to be designing many of them.  A necessary and permanent fixture in our homes, one would expect that they were receiving more attention.  Although collaborations between designers and manufacturers are commonplace in the furniture world, this is not the case with doors and windows. 

Fiorella Door. Designed by Massimo Iosa Ghini for Barausse.

Designer Iosa Ghini proves to be an exception, collaborating with manufacturers Barausse and Bauxt to develop new door designs.  If the designer’s name seems familiar to you, 3rings checked out his Stone Bathtub earlier this month. Barausse’s Iosa Ghini Collection includes three different designs: Fiorella, Pia and Graffiata. “The unavoidable return to naturalness calls out to be represented by an evocative sign, even as an expression of the new and rediscovered attention towards the use of materials and respect for the environment. It is from these considerations that Fiorella, Pia and Graffiata spring.” according to the designer.  Each of the designs explores a textural approach to the door panel, addressing the potential and material properties of that from which it is created.


Pia Door. Designed by Massimo Iosa Ghini for Barausse.


Pia Door. Designed by Massimo Iosa Ghini for Barausse.


Graffiata Door. Designed by Massimo Iosa Ghini for Barausse.

“I wanted to design Fiorella to express a certain concept of lightness in the decoration which remains on the surface while rendering itself almost invisible to the eye. In their frivolity and elegance, the petals mirror a certain idea of femininity.”  Fiorella is available in two styles: an opaque white door with sinuous, engraved lines, extending into the frame and a glazed door which plays on light and shadow.  The Pia door, with its leather surface and contrasted quilting, “evokes…an idea of tailoredness.”  Available in either black or sand, the simple surface and thin aluminum frame are decidedly modern.  The black, my personal favorite, is described by the company as “a door with class (that) seduces with discretion.”  Graffiata, “scratched with geometrical depths” has the appearance of a linen textile.  According to the designer, this was his attempt to express the “true soul of wood…expressed in the surface chiaroscuro effects.” Each of these designs has its own personality, providing long overdue aesthetic innovation in door design.

Monolite, a collaboration between Bauxt and Iosa Ghini, is a coplanar security door with invisible (Rondò patented) hinges and 180° opening.  Bauxt is an Italian company “that has been exclusively producing armoured doors since 1984, combining technology and security with attention to design and to detail, to make the door an effective part of the decor in any home.”  This collaboration resulted in a door that addresses security concerns discretely, providing a clean and modern design that can be personalized for for different spaces and aesthetics.   Highly modern options include a blue or red plexiglass panel with an aluminum door frame, or shiny white or black varnished door panel and frame (my personal favorite) and lastly a sheet metal panel with aluminum frame.  The teak-veneered or black-painted wood panel and frame give a bit more warmth the the space and the horizontal walnut slab-panel with an aluminum door frame, even more so.  Lastly, the door can disappear into an existing space with its flat paintable wall-like surface. Monolite is available with a door panel of up to 1,000 x 2,400 mm, maintaining the same level of resistance and durability.

After a lengthy search for innovation in door design… I was left a bit disappointed.  Not much attention seems to be devoted to this area of research and design.  In 2005, Designboom hosted a competition called “Door to Paradise”, which resulted in some very interesting and entertaining proposals for the future of doors.  Sadly, none of these design proposals have resulted in actual products on the market.  Nanawall (and the very similar Libr’A by Albertini) brought incredible new technology and innovation to door design years ago, but what is happening now?  Though Iosa Ghini’s designer doors, the Tekno Collection by FOA Porta, and Neoporte Modern Door are all introducing attractive new aesthetics to the market, I’m still left waiting and wondering when the next functionally innovative door will appear.

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