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«La Casa di Pietra is a story of how analogue objects are still able to talk to us. And how they do even more so when they are issued from shared narratives.

An exhibition turns into a business

We understood this in the four years spent working on this project. La Casa di Pietra was born as an exhibition for a trade fair to show, through evocative objects, a renewed role of marble in our homes. But it was transformed – precisely by virtue of the force of its narrative – into a collective enterprise rooted in the territory (and nominated for the Compasso d’Oro 2018).

La Casa di Pietra we built for Marmomac in 2014 was born to recover the small stories of Italy dispersed throughout the territory but still very much alive among people. Concretely, it was a matter of designing and creating a series of objects, each with a precise history behind it, in solid marble and other materials, working with couples of artisans coming from different regions of Italy.

Culture and commerce

It was the spontaneity of the approach, the clear cultural and non-commercial intent, the harmony that emerged from the team involved. The fact is that instead of disappearing after the Marmomacc The Stone House began to travel the world as an exhibition in its own right. With curators who from time to time suggested us to expand the collections, inserting new artisans and companies.

And so, almost by chance, the cultural event has become a business.

The poetry of objects

We could have bet on the numbers, but we did not. On the contrary, we have continued to focus on functional, iconic and poetic objects that could contain their inner soul and require “contact” with the human being. And this has paid off. The collections have gone from 10 to 50 for a total of about 200 objects; the artisans on the territory have become 34, each one ready to tell their own story, use different materials and technologies – from craftsmanship to digital – to apply their sensibilities creating a real factory spread throughout Italy.

Today the collections are bought and used both by private individuals and professionals and by large companies of the furnishing accessory. In April, the first sales point opens in Milan in partnership with Meroni & Colzani, who will use the collections for his furnishing settings in a beautiful space behind the Museo del Novecento.

A society issue

But, even if it seems a big word, La Casa di Pietra is also a social project as well as an entrepreneurial one. Because the contact with the world of small production stimulates sensitivities perceived in the laboratories, where everything is recovered. Because working together activates transversal paths between people and materials, increases the knowledge of all and spreads the Italian heritage of “know-how” and “thinking”, a creative / productive process. La Casa di Pietra thus becomes a small visual encyclopedia of techniques, materials, workmanship and sensitivity; that fabric that has always been present in Italy, unfortunately forgotten by many, unique in the international scene».

The authors and the project

GumDesign, Laura Fiaschi and Gabriele Pardi, designers. Since last year they coordinate the Master in Innovation Design and Product Development with Craftsmanship at the IED in Florence

La Casa di Pietra received the 2014 Best Communicator Award in the “Design” section at Marmomac; Adi Design Index 2016 has been selected and will compete in the Compasso d’Oro in the “Business Research” section 2018; is finalist with the Impronte collection at the Meneghetti International Art Prize 2018.

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