Revival vs. Innovation
The grand review: These are the trends and highlights of this year's Milan furniture fair.
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A New Beginning for Machines and Hands
Among contemporary furniture manufacturers, Mattiazzi, the family owned producer of wooden furniture in Udine, Italy, is uncommon. While many producers in that region rely on third party factories and work in diverse materials, Mattiazzi operates with their own machines and hands, and has developed a healthy obsession for woodworking. Since 1978, when brothers Nevio and Fabbiano Mattiazzi founded the company, Mattiazzi has steadily cultivated its local manufacturing culture. Their network of wood shops is diverse enough to support any manufacturing process the brand may need. Every shop has its own focus, from milling to lacquering, and a particular process always belongs to a specific part of town. But don't let the neighborhood approach confuse you: Mattiazzi is no backyard shop. Their highly specialized craftsmen operate the most sophisticated machinery available to the wood industry. An eight-axis CNC milling machine allows wood to take the complex shapes associated with injection-molded plastic. Operating such a machine is an art and Mattiazzi disproves the modern myth that mechanized manufacturing is not a craft.
For thirty years Mattiazzi worked exclusively as a subcontractor for other brands and built a reputation in the furniture industry for making the most challenging wooden products. They bring their expertise with them as they take their first steps into the role of an independent, holistic brand. They hired a young Munich based office, Studio Nitzan Cohen, to design their first pieces. These designs push and exploit the potential of Mattiazzi's craft. Berlin based graphic designer Florian Lambl is art directing the brand, building from their heritage and helping them to create a new tradition. I'm writing this text from Boston. Mattiazzi is extending the reach of their machines and hands, and their new direction is an exciting twist in a story that was already worth following.