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Architecture, design and textiles

Mario Botta illustrates the relationship between architecture, interior design and fashion.
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I think that, by experience, I have designed spaces in which – how can I say – the clients bizarre furniture would not fit, and others which turned out better than planned with the chosen furniture. I reckon the blame is on architecture, in the sense that if
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an architecture is strong, then it must hold, no matter what: even a pinball machine must fit into a strong space; if the space is fragile then it will need props, supporting elements, helping the space to speak about the culture of its own time. Therefore, I am rather unconcerned – so to say – with design, even though I have done some of it myself every now and then, but I did it because there was a necessity, like an ambon to draw, a chair to design, and so you are faced with that theme, which is wonderful; for example, that chair over there, opposite us…
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the way humans sit down hasn’t changed for thousands of years, yet we must constantly reinvent a different model of seat. Why? Because when we sit, we also use our eyes, our spirit, in other words I need to recognise a product of my time, of my culture, of my social life, and this is why we design objects that have been made thousands of times before, every time the same, but in a different way.
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I have never had a particular culture in terms of fashion, also
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of textiles: for the architect, a fabric is something soft, fragile, that folds, that does not resist, which however for stylists is of supreme use, because it is right to say that a dress or a suit are elements that also speak
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of the need of humans to give their best: in fashion we see wonderful things, but we also see terrible things, precisely because of the fragility that this instrument has in adapting to the good or to the perverse. But I have never considered, I mean… I prefer the solid state, the more durable element. Recently I have been working with a girl, her name is Maria Morganti, who came and who
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intrigued me: she is an artist who works with colours – I am a black and white architect, I have never had specific training on colour – and this girl did something that is nonetheless stable, a decor of the Querini Stampalia, a modest space that I had designed, which was a cafeteria, with extraordinary fabrics, with a deepness, a beauty; she is someone who works systematically and who has
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impressed me: every day of the year, she lays down a colour that the day after she covers with another colour,
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and so on, for 350 days a year: every day with monastic regularity; and at the end, in the headers you can read the 350 colours. So, I am now a little closer, because the beauty of this fabric, of these textiles woven in a special way on large looms, also brought me into the spaces, which I realise are much nicer than the shiny stucco spaces that I had made.
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This is to say that everyone, even by their own knowledge, in their own discipline, has great limits, so I like to find those individuals who in their own craft go the extra mile, who go deeper, a sculptor has this capability, which we mentioned earlier with Giuliano Vangi, or a painter who has this… who is obsessed with colours. And I find in these spaces, that are seemingly marginal, forms of resistance to the trivialisation of modern culture.
Interviewer’s question: “What is your relationship with the furnitures that furnish the buildings you design? What is the relationship between architecture and fashion?”
In this video, Mario Botta illustrates the relationship between architecture, interior design and fashion. If an architecture is strong, then it must hold with any furniture that is chosen for it; on the contrary, if the space is fragile then it will need props, supporting elements, helping the space to speak about the culture of its own time. For the architect, a fabric is something soft, fragile, that does not resist, which however for stylists is of supreme use, because a dress or a suit are elements that also speak of the need of humans to give their best. Mario Botta refers then to the work of an Italian artist, Maria Morganti, who is working with colors in a “stable” way.
Here you can find an interview to Maria Morganti (in Italian).

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

In the website of Mario Botta Architetti you can also find Mario Botta’s works in the field of design.
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Mario Botta: To Be an Architect

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