Playing in the realm of 3-dimensional design, Italian product designer Elena Salmistaro focuses on a story and lets her products be the story-tellers.
In the world of exclusivity, product designers are the ones setting the standards, and laying out the carpet for the hottest trends. Technically qualified in both Architecture and Design, Elena Salmistaro spreads her creative wings across architectural projects as well as designing products and illustrating for prestigious companies in the creative industry.
Focusing on an art and design mix, her work reflects her attention to detail while ensuring the final products are organic, harmonious and in most cases characteristically poetic. Nature plays the lead role in her design stories and deriving from nature in the most artistic but technologically advanced mediums is her forte.
Her strong painstakingly precise details are reflected in the concept behind the “Dornette Tiles for Bosa”. Inspired by nature and its countless shapes, these tiles are a result that is proudly techno-organic.
The “Canyon” range is best described as “a transformation on all three axes – rotation, deformation and scale and height change – it creates a sort of miniaturised “grand canyon”. The optical effect of this “mutation” is highlighted by a series of etchings which call to mind sedimentary rocks’ geological stratifications.”
Inspired by nature is a theme displayed in Elena Salmistaro’s products in various ways. The “Escamas” cups also created for Bosa, are ceramic cups 3-d printed with astounding details of concepts and patterns inspired by everything from animal shells to Arabic decorations.
Following in the path of 3-D printing and inspired by the world renowned Chinese terracotta army, “The Brushes’ Army” is a perfect rendition of a salute to the original masterpiece. Keeping in tune with the theme of the event, these brushes are stark white but the multiple prototypes in the installation create a soul, a very pure one
Marrying materials to create a single product with a positive visual appeal is what innovative designs are about. The “Mensola Nubila” is a book-shelf with the possibility of using it as a tray. What makes it stunning is the complex simplicity it is created by using a blend of steel and wood. The materials may be conventional but the finished product with rounded edges is anything but.
Another such product is the “Polifemo” cabinet that combines wood and copper in the form of a bizzarely appealing cabinet. Intended to parody a one-eyed cyclop injured in the Odessey fight with Ulysses, this cabinet is a perfect example of Elena Samistaro’s importance towards concept derivation. The source has a story to tell, and the final product is what contemporary homes are made of. Designer at large, she also ensured the practicality of it all is not lost by keeping the base steady with metal legs even though the contrast of it and the proportions leave us bewildered.
Fine ceramic home products are hard to come by without seeming repetitive. However, the “Primates” collection of plates by Elena for Bosa are again articulated designs of man’s relationship with the apes.
Crisp colours on a stark white background make this an eclectic yet definitive choice for home accessorising. But what stands out from the entire range are the vases from the same Primate collection. Unlike the plates with 2-dimensional imagery, these vases come alive with their intricate detailing and vivid colour tones blended with metallic finishes. The finishing and quality of these vases are by far the most exclusive pieces of quirk you can add to your home.
The Nazca table as the name suggests is an ode to Peru. The table has no angular edges and the shape is almost like the shape of South – America. Also adding to the finesse of this wooden piece of furniture is the laser-cut motif in geometric patterns that adorns the top surface of the table.
Partial to the contemporary home, Salmistaro created the most functionally fashion forward pouffe and coffee table set under the “Belte Collection”. Inspired by the fashion world of large waist belts, the pouffe and table have a metal belt that holds them in at all the right spots.
Balancing on a small wooden base, the metal belt not only adds a visual punch to it but also practically keep the pouffe in shape. The coffee table uses a metal belt to support the metal top. This creates drama, divides the spaces, and also allows for storage in the space within the belt.
Similarly the “Zeno” coffee table is a masterpiece made from recomposed quartz and draws direct inspiration from the Zen gardens of Japan. Symbolic to the original’s tranquility and stability, this coffee table mimics in design the parallel symmetrical rows of sand, but with a pause created by a smooth tray top that symbolises the mortality of the term “formal perfection”.
Elena Salmistaro’s constant ode to nature while respecting new-age advancements has created a world-wide furor with large prestigious companies commissioning her designs while she keeps her creative buzz going in the form of artist installations. She is rightfully the “Ambassador of Italian Design” for this year.
Text By Virupa Kantamneni
Photographs Courtesy Elena Salmistaro