Urquiola Manipulates Stone with Marblelous & Macrosterias

I don’t know what Patricia Urquiola has been experimenting with that’s given her such hallucinatory visions, but her creations in marble are playing with scale in marvelous ways. In 2009, she designed the Marblelous installation presented by Interni Design Energies and Marmomacc Verona Fiere, which portrayed an enchanted garden in the vein of Alice in Wonderland. Realized by four Italian stone companies–Budri, Marsotto, Testi Fratelli, and Grassi Pietre–Marbelous is “an oversize enchanted garden…where natural materials like marble, stone and onyx disport themselves in a splendour of pale and dark, light and shadow, bas-relief and shadow, gap and solid.” Arranged on a “grillage,” the marble pieces are “served to the public on an embroidered tray,” offering larger-than-life vases and overturned cups–a disturbed tea party for Brobdingnagians (or for the giant Alice after she’s eaten from the mushroom). Measuring approximately 19′ 8″ x 21′ 3″, Marblelous is big enough to seem imposing, yet small enough to recreate a miniature world–a topsy turvy tableau vivant of some fantastic, faraway land where “bowls aspire to become tanks.”

Marbelous. Designed by Patricia Urquiola.

Urquiola Manipulates Stone with Marblelous & MacrosteriasUrquiola Manipulates Stone with Marblelous & MacrosteriasUrquiola Manipulates Stone with Marblelous & MacrosteriasUrquiola Manipulates Stone with Marblelous & Macrosterias

After the success of Marblelous, Urquiola has tried her hand at marble once again with Macrosterias for Burdi. This time she is shrinking everything to the microscopic level, something she also did for her Cintas Carpet. Macrosterias freezes micro-organisms in marble like fossilized insects enshrined in amber. The living structures, invisible to the naked eye, are inlaid on a carpet of Sivec white marble–the exponential enlargement brings to life a “digital-biological microcosm.” Over 12 metres long and incorporating more than 30 types of marble and onyx in finely wrought constructions and inlays, Macrosterias highlights the possibilities of the material. Urquiola recounts: “When I sent in some drawings, I thought, ‘No, they'll never manage these,’–and now here they are. And this is wonderful.”

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