The lines in this drawing are actually clumps of pulled wool caught in fishing line.
Despite itself, the computer age has given rise to a more intense engagement with objects. Miles Davis on vinyl, homemade scrapbooks assembled with a medieval attention to detail, and libraries of real books stacked in such unexpected places as abandoned phone booths and mailboxes are just some of the tangibles we’ve insisted on having and holding in the aftermath of the digital killing fields. Now add to that the humble pen on paper, which gets a thumbs-up from hipsters, for its control and organic touch as well as its singularity of purpose.
Italian architect Emilia Serra and designer Andrea Mancuso have literally walked into this trend toward object engagement. In Analogia, a series of textile installations, they recreate the old school appeal of loose pen sketches. First unveiled during 2011’s London Design Week, and most recently seen this spring at Salone del Mobile in Milan, Analogia #003 shows a white room set up with a table, a planter and a modern lamp. The archetypal shapes have been sketched out using pulled clumps of inky black Merino wool, woven within a web of transparent fishing line that criss-crosses the space like graph paper.
The idea was first hand drawn and then laid out to scale using 3‑D software. On site, the designers reproduced every detail of the original by applying the wool to the ethereal framework, at once sketching and realizing their imagined furnishings. In a final act of engagement, the designers walked through their sketch, ducking beneath the lines and pointing out the shadows cast by the different strokes. Solid ideas, it seems, really can spring to life out of thin air.
Published in Azure Magazine, Jul/Aug 2012.