barber & osgerby discuss primavera and lane ceramic collections for mutina
 

barber & osgerby discuss primavera and lane ceramic collections for mutina

for more than a decade, italian ceramics company mutina has been approaching the world of ceramic tiles in an innovative way. by uniting their know-how with craftsmanship, experimentation, technology and research, they have been pushing the boundaries of the material itself, resulting in collections that have even us wondering if what we’re seeing is really ceramics. following their motto of I only work with people that I like, mutina has collaborated with designers such as patricia urquiola, ronan and erwan bouroullec, tokujin yoshioka, konstantin grcic, raw edges and hella jongerius.

 

with their first collaboration in 2013 followed by a second in 2016, london-based barber & osgerby return to their joint adventure with mutina to present two new collections: primavera and lane.

barber & osgerby discuss primavera and lane ceramic collections for mutina designboom

 

 

mutina is literally the most fun company ever,’ edward barber of barber & osgerby told designboom while admiring the new collections at mutina’s headquarters in fiorano, italy. ‘they have a vision and that is to envision and develop interesting things that push the boundaries of design and they have the technology to do it so there’s no limit.’ that is precisely what you feel while walking around mutina’s recently renovated showroom — a sense that can be only achieved when a group of people get together to do what they love.

barber & osgerby discuss primavera and lane ceramic collections for mutina designboom

 

 

‘lane’ is the more subtle and ethereal collection. to create it, ‘we went around the whole of london paying close attention to the buildings and their different types of bricks,’ explained barber. ‘from there we got five base colors made of 12 different colors and these can be also complemented by an accent color.’ although the tiles are minimal at first sight, once arranged, they allow for plenty of customization and a virtually endless variety of combinations.

barber & osgerby discuss primavera and lane ceramic collections for mutina designboom

 

 

‘we learned from our past collections with mutina that people love puzzles and pieces that can be assembled and customized in many ways. and the reason behind this is because every time someone acquires the collection, they are getting something completely original, different from all the others,’ continued barber.

barber & osgerby discuss primavera and lane ceramic collections for mutina designboom

 

 

as for ‘primavera’, barber told us that they started looking at NASA’s satellite photographs from earth. from here, they zoomed-in to discover the subtle variations in tones and colors that they aimed to recreate. ‘we thought it would be interesting not to replicate but to echo the feeling these photographs gave us. so we started playing with the base colors we found on the images and color-matched them to other tones, resulting in quite natural background tones contrasted by other colors. so in the end you have two swap colors and one that creates the contrast.’

barber & osgerby discuss primavera and lane ceramic collections for mutina designboom

 

 

‘after that, we began to play. initially we started off by thinking that the little pieces would be dots of circles, generating a very modern and graphic pattern. unfortunately, we couldn’t achieve this because it was impossible to have the circles flat inside the base colors. so we decided to use rods, which results in a more interesting effect as it generates a more natural appearance with different shapes like rectangles or just little broken bits of it,’ continued barber.

barber & osgerby discuss primavera and lane ceramic collections for mutina designboom

 

 

consisting of five basic colors — white, gray, blue, green and black — the texture featured on the ‘primavera’ collection is emphasized by randomly adding a mix of flakes in vivid and saturated tones to the surface of the tiles using a modeled belt that allows dropping them in a typically non-homogenous distribution. ‘every tile is different,’ said barber. ‘mutina has a system where they mix the components and sometimes you get a lot of sprinkles on one side and other times there’s nothing. it’s a very nice way to work because it’s a man-made process that works together with a natural surprise.’

barber & osgerby discuss primavera and lane ceramic collections for mutina designboom

 

 

finally, when we asked barber on his final thoughts on their ongoing collaboration with mutina he said, ‘they believe in what they do. for example, when we launched puzzle the press loved it but sales were a bit slow. today, three years later, the sales have skyrocketed. what I mean is that when you push good things — really good things — in the end they are going to work.’

barber & osgerby discuss primavera and lane ceramic collections for mutina designboom

barber & osgerby discuss primavera and lane ceramic collections for mutina designboom

barber & osgerby discuss primavera and lane ceramic collections for mutina designboom

 

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