The alternation and symbiosis between concave and convex, recessed and raised.
The Rilievi collection by Zaven is the outcome of an elaborate design process starting from meticulous, highly successful work to combine two basic elements: a large ceramic slab and a three-dimensional "relief tile" placed on top of it. These two "ingredients" can be combined in different ways depending on their numerical multiplication, the layout of the slabs, the shapes built up by placing the relief tiles one after the other, and the combinations and juxtapositions amongst each item in the collection.
MARIA CRISTINA DIDERO: “RILIEVI”
This project simply embodies perfection - a term which certainly sets the bar high in a description of a new product for launch on the market. But when an enlightened manufacturer is capable of encapsulating a designer's personal research in a product to be added to its range, the outcome is a perfect synthesis. A perfect synthesis between untrammelled creativity and market trends. CEDIT had the insight needed to perceive, identify and rework the immense potential of Practice Practice Practice – a self-produced project by Zaven (Enrica Cavarzan and Marco Zavagno – and realised that its sophisticated design, originated by pure, pristine input (unadulterated by external factors except the noblest of them all, research) could provide the basis for an innovative, successful collection. I might add, a collection unique of its kind. Zaven is also a name that comes with guarantees; the two partners are good at what they do. Their work always starts from personal curiosity and investigations, the study of other stories (as in this case inspiration was drawn from the output of artist and activist Nino Caruso) and individual interests, which are broken down, developed, optimised and prepared for transformation into something fresh. Enrica Cavarzan and Marco Zavagno have a masterly ability to transform their own wishes and passions into design work of the greatest breadth and, as we see here, the widest, richest application. Their use of ceramics as a material is clearly outstanding and reflects a method precisely founded on the desire to look at things from an unusual viewpoint, under a different light. And to be daring. Zaven have an unconventional approach to convention. In the specific case of the Rilievi collection, the “modules” created for CEDIT seem to explode off the walls; in fact, they are constructed by combining the two-dimensional slab with its three-dimensional decor. Rilievi seems to be seeking space. More space. Even though these modules have actually established a dialogue with the wall from which they are born. At the same time, they hypnotise us with their tight sequence of lines, the pattern that is always different although its root is the same, and the intriguing, unusual colours that add another vital factor to the finished product. Their firm grounding in graphic design (and here we have come back to two-dimensional effects, of the kind most often associated with a wall covering) easily evolves into a facade which seems to have been carved with a chisel - although this is not the case. These modules are conceived to convey an impression of movement, and the three models, in seven colour combinations, create a powerful effect on a surface, which is never passive but rather an organic contributor to the forms and colours involved in the fascinating combinations. The slab is very much present and has the same worth and status as the relief pattern associated to it. In the light of this dichotomy between the linear and the sculpted, expressed through the skilfully balanced visual expedients, the use of repetition adds vigour to the module's intrinsic meaning. As we have seen, a rejection of facile, superficial creative dynamics in favour of an investigation reaching above and beyond has always been a central, clearly recognisable feature of this Venice-based duo, who already have impressive international partnerships to their credit, including the London Design Festival, the Kalmar Konstmuseum, the Paris Designer Days, Ca’ Foscari University, the Venice Biennale, the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation, the Sindika Dokolo Foundation and the V-A-C Foundation, and also won the 2018 Wallpaper Design Award. Graphics, advertising and product design: the pair have always opted for a type of design closely linked to the observation of everyday items, followed by their reinterpretation in a version applied to experimentation with materials. This duality, combined with their energetic yet elegant visual language, forms Enrica and Marco's primary code, experienced in this specific context through serial carvings. On walls.
Severity and verve. Zaven's design practice merges the conceptual daring of contemporary art with the rule-based creativity of graphics, enabling the firm to interface both with the world of industry and with the museum and gallery scene.Responsive to all the latest trends but well aware of the history of design and architecture, Zaven provides a contemporary viewpoint particularly dense in meaning, embracing both two-and three-dimensionality.