Client: Bufalini Marmi

The “Sottrazioni” project, commissioned by Bufalini Marmi, is the result of reflections and suggestions regarding stone and fire, rituals and processes.

The project is a synthesis of a journey that chronicles the relationship between men and ancestral and strong elements, such as stone and fire, and his ability to tame and shape them.

Reference Pictures

“The brazier seems to me an object that, in the simplest and most self-explanatory way, combines fire and stone in a functional tool, characterized at the same time by a strong symbolic charge.

The fire that burns and warms, enlightens, regenerates and reunites, making us reconnect, for a few moments, to memories and ancestral sensations that dwell in the depths of each human being.”

The name “Sottrazioni” refers to man’s natural aptitude for taking raw materials from the earth and transforming it, charging them with new meanings. In the field of extractivism, specifically, mountains are gradually emptied through subtraction operations that, block by block, slowly modify the landscape.

This invasive activity is the unavoidable prerequisite with which any designer who decides to use this so precious and exhaustible material must deal. It is therefore crucial to use it with awareness and employ it to produce meaningful objects capable of activating reflections.

Following the same logic, the project was developed along the lines of this subtractive process, starting from a block and dividing it into submultiples with the aim of minimizing waste to preserve the raw material.

The system of braziers, made of lava stone, is the result of a series of hollowing and lightening processes, achieved through numerically control- led coring and milling. This allows the processing waste to be reused afterwards for the creation of small candlesticks and censers, objects that maintain a strong connection with fire and justify the use of lava stone, which is, by nature, particularly resistant to high temperatures.

The holes, the result of core drilling, become the housing for the “Innocenti” scaffolding standard pipes, that serve as a functional element: the brazier is, in fact, designed to be transported by human traction alone in a direct reference to the collective rituals and to the physical effort involved in the extraction processes.

The encounter between the ancestral world of pure material and the contemporary one of the industry and industrial standard is a topic that has always been of interest to the studio, which constantly investigates the relationship between the foundational elements of the human being, understood as animale-progettante (designing animal), and its continuous tension towards the evolution of technique. The production enhances stone as a resource and exalts a material that has an intrinsic value as the result of slow, complex and probably unrepeatable natural processes.

Bufalini is the custodian of an ancient history and witness to an established tradition that has united its name with that of Carrara marble and stone in general and that, for more than three hundred years, has been exalting the material, experimenting with new declinations and applications.

The solo exhibition “Intorno al fuoco” has been the opportunity to showcase the collection, designed on the occasion of Milan Design Week 2023 and presented within the Design Variations exhibition itinerary at Circolo Filologio Milanese.

The exhibition invited the visitor to reflect on the relationship between stone and fire, ancestral elements that coexist and take shape through the design of a brazier system.

Project Leader: Alberto Manca
Ph. Credits: Veronica Camera