It is not easy to precisely define the Swiss group founded by Aurel Aebi, Armand Louis and Patrick Reymond in 1991. Architects, designers, artist, scenographers, Atelier Oï has developed a cross-disciplinary way of designing, breaking down the barriers among different knowledges.
Dancing in the air, whirling round and round, the lamps Le Danseuses designed by Atelier Oï for Artemide have been included by ADI Index in the selection for the next Compasso d’Oro Awards.
The poetic Atelier Oï’s design makes every project identifiable, from the precision of the industrial design to the handcrafted manufacturing of the materials: paper (lamp Fusion designed in collaboration with Ozeki & Co. for Danese), felt (modular containers for USM), fabrics (separator Sinua for Danese) or mainly wood (as in the Allumettes collection for Röthlisberger).
How important is the material in your products?
All our designs are based on how the materials express themselves, how they can be transformed, what are their limits, how you can push it forward and what you can actually make out of them.
Which approach do you need towards the material?
We are convinced that not only handcraft by every know-how is very important. This was also the main topic we had this year in Milan, Casa Gifu, a collaboration between Atelier Oï and the Japanese prefecture Gifu. And all was base on the knowledge and the know-how they have around wood, paper and other materials and the new technologies and ways of transforming materials.
Do we need more connection between manufacture and design?
With the Hida Sangyo’s japanese company we have developed some wooden furniture, tables and chairs and all of them are made by compressed wood they have in Japan, that can’t be used otherwise. So it is all about the know-how they have in wood making, compressing the wood to make it stable enough to be able to make anything out of it. So this a nice aspect of the link among design, handcraft, the knowledge and the know-how that we put together in the end in the product.
An hybrid approach that requires also different figures…
In general a lot of things we can see in our projects comes from other projects. In Atelier Oï we include architects, interior designers, graphic designers, so we have different points of views and different scales of work. And this has a lot of impact on the actual final product because something we see in architecture we transpose to furniture or to a product or the other way round. And it is this that gives the certain spirit we have in the way we transform materials.
Text by Gabriele Masi.
1. Le Danseuses, AtelierOï, Artemide.
2. Hive, Atelier Oï, B&B Italia.
3. Sinua, Atelier Oï, Danese.
4. Stairs, Atelier Oï, Lasvit
5. Allumette, Atelier Oï, Röthlisberger Kollektion
6. Decomposé, Atelier Oï, Artemide.
7. Inos Box, Atelier Oï, USM
8. Casa Gifu, Atelier Oï.