Carbon 22: Aerospace Engineering Makes Art

An aerospace engineer turned product designer, Dario Antonioni, founder of design lab Orange 22, has used aeronautical concepts to develop a line that exemplifies the fusion of technology and art. With price tags from $22,000 to $120,000, “Carbon 22 isn’t driven by the demands of the marketplace; it’s driven by passion,” according to the designer. “I am an artist first and a designer second,” says Antonioni. “This collection is a way for me to satisfy my inclination to advance my field – to experiment.” The collection is doing just that, both for design and technology.

Carbon 22 Barstools. Designed by Dario Antonioni of Orange22.

“My fascination with flight and technology definitely influenced my material selection, fabrication techniques and to a certain extent, the formal qualities of these pieces, but when I applied those technologies and materials to the process of designing a table whose legs morph fluidly into the rest of the structure, the results were totally unpredictable.” Architect Zaha Hadid’s work exudes a seemingly aerodynamic aesthetic: “streamlined shapes, free-flowing forms, and silhouettes that suggest an intergalactic space station,” as exemplified in her Aqua Table. It to blurs the distinction between the table’s “legs” or support and its surface. The difference between the work of Zaha Hadid and Dario Antonioni is that of aesthetics versus technological advancement. Antonioni’s primary interest is in the process and technological application as opposed to the resulting form, where Hadid’s interests appear to lie.



As the name suggests, the Carbon 22 collection is made entirely of carbon fiber. Super strong, lightweight and blacker than black, the most advanced technology has been put to use to create this desk, stool, table and cocktail table. “In a wind tunnel, the aerodynamic lines of each art object creates sensual, un-agitated flows of air – precisely the kind NASA engineers strive to achieve in their own work,” according to the company. Antonioni’s formal aerospace engineering his interest in flight and technology have been manifested in this collection. Each object, produced in limited numbers, will be signed and sold with its original mold.

Design Lab Orange 22 also produced the Botanist Series, a series of blank canvases (bent aluminum forms) that various designers including Yves Behar personalized through jet-cutting technology and color powder coating.  Profits from this series benefited various charities, as determined by the designers.  Orange 22 continues to be at the forefront of the design world with innovative conceptual thinking and humanitarian values.

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