The surface of things

A crossways analysis of the design projects that gave life to the installations in Natural Things, the exhibition curated by Raffaello Galiotto for the 2019 edition of The Italian Stone Theatre, helps identify a number of characteristic ways of relating with natural stone.

The variety and uniqueness inspiring individual designers saw an emphasis on surface aspects – graphic, chromatic or textural – come to the fore as one of the predominant ways of enhancing stone material’s characteristics of inimitable uniqueness.

A Window on the Courtyard

Three slender and high stone walls arranged with a triangular ground plan, with a median window revealing glimpses inside the triangular space generated by the three walls: this is how Marco Acerbis decided to set up his own, personal stone theatre, thinking of visions through windows as a symbolic overview of the world of quarries, the geographical location where stone originates. Yet the external surface of each wall is characterized by in-depth design considerations focusing precisely on surface values. The square tiles assembled to build each wall are animated by continuously varied and alternating reliefs and textures, with glossy and opaque finishes, thereby generating an effect of movement enhanced by the features of Fior di Pesco Carnico natural stone.


Valeria Eva Rossi focuses on inlay work with Gea: its morphological matrix derives from the ancient symbol of Nature – a vase or chalice – re-interpreted and brought up to date in minimalist fashion to compose and characterize all elements. The vertical backdrops with their strong architectural impact are worked to generate a play of alternating low reliefs, high reliefs and engravings. The two shades of stone, light and dark, highlight the graphic value of this processing, made all the more evident by the contrast with as-split stone and the inlaid marble console that completes the installation.


Here, we move on from applied graphics to highlighting the exceptional chromatic and material characteristics of the marble materials (supplied in this instance by Antolini). The work by Studiopepe focuses on these aspects, giving rise to a collection of modular panels that can be used to compose a kind of urban skyline. Black appears at the top as a symbolic night sky; the varied materials chosen with their different colours – from green to walnut, blue and grey – are in turn a metaphor for the richness and variety of the urban composition imagined as a kind of immersed metaphysical landscape in night-time light.


A Window on the Courtyard

Designer: Marco Acerbis
Production: Margraf
Material: Fior di Pesco Carnico
Video: Youtube

Designer: Valeria Eva Rossi
Production: Gmm
Material: Palissandro Bronzetto e Palissandro Black by Gruppo Tosco Marmi
Video: Youtube

Designer: Studiopepe
Production: Antolini
Material: Infinity, Louise Blue, Amazonite, Calcite Caraibica, Irish Green, Noisette Fleuty by Antolini
Video: Youtube


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