Architect, designer, and unapologetic iconoclast, Gaetano Pesce has spent an entire career defying expectations by pushing boundaries. He is always one step ahead (or sometimes many). Such is the case with Serie Up 2000, which came flatpacked and inflated into its sensuous shape-originally in 1969, when virtually no one had thought of such a thing.
1. UP5_6 for B&B Italia
In 1987, decades before chairs started collapsing, Pesce created 357 Feltri, a high and low armchair made entirely of thick wool felt. To guarantee its strength, Pesce employed a patented technique that incorporated thermosetting resin into the chair. Cassina explains that 357 Feltri is "the result of a figurative research that culminated in a hybrid design able to majestically combine art and function."
2. 357 Feltri for Cassina
Other Pesce chairs play with varied concepts: he designed one in the shape of the Manhattan skyline and another in the form of a mountain range. Chairs in resin, a favorite material for the designer, seem to melt into the floor. His sofas too rely on imagination, asking us to re-envision what constitutes a couch. In one case, he distills the couch into building blocks.
3. La Michetta for Meritalia
Putting Pesce's love of resin to the test, Six Tables on Water combined the material with polyurethane foam to create water-like surfaces. Playfully shaped and vividly colored, the tables offer the reflective shine of blue oceans and murky lagoons.
4. Table Lake for David Gill Gallery
Meritalia celebrated its collaboration with the designer by introducing its Edizioni Del Pesce, a collection of objects and lamps. Here we see the spaghetti-like texture of silicone and plastic alongside the melting gloss of resin.
5. Moss for Meritalia
6. Elephant for Meritalia
Pesce has an expressive face alive with a sense of amusement, which might explain his fascination with faces. From face lamps to face cabinets, Pesce's design objects often depict the human visage, at times fractured-this break takes on special meaning once you've heard Pesce speak, since he eschews perfection and encourages innovation.
7. Face Cabinet for Salon94 Design
Visit www.gaetanopesce.com to see more of his work.