designboom goes inside gaetano pesce's studio in new york
 

designboom goes inside gaetano pesce's studio in new york

 

gaetano pesce draws his self-professed ‘multidisciplinary attitude’ from the renaissance, when creatives had expansive interests, rather than limited points of view. ‘you had artists expressing something in architecture, in sculpture, in painting, in poems…like michalengelo, rafael, or leonardo da vinci — I come from that tradition.’

 

born in la spezia, a coastal city in the north of italy, pesce has called new york city home for more than 30 years. with projects ranging from the ‘pluralist tower’ — a proposal for a building in brazil that would see a different architect design every floor — to a pair of ankle boots that can adapted to each individual wearer, pesce is one of the most multifaceted and unconventional creatives of the 20th century.

gaetano pesce studio visit
gaetano pesce’s studio in new york is filled to the brim with models, drawings and design objects
image © designboom

 

 

designboom visited pesce’s office in soho — one of two workspaces he uses in new york — where we discovered his personal wunderkammer, laden with an eclectic mix of objects and elements. stay tuned for our in-depth interview with pesce about architecture in the city, his approach to new projects, and the creative fascinations that drive his work today.

gaetano pesce studio visit
one of pesce’s most well-known design works, the ‘up chair’ finds a home in a busy area of the studio 
image © designboom

 

 

pesce’s studio in soho is a cabinet of curiosities, filled from floor to ceiling with fascinating examples of his early works, personal drawings and musings, and miniature resin models interspersed throughout. in this space, pesce works alongside a small team of creative people on new projects, collaborations and ideas, surrounded by design works and personal objects that reflect his experimental nature and comprehensive career.

 

‘I’m curious about different things,’ pesce told designboom. ‘I can use architecture sometimes because someone asks me to do a project, or because I have the curiosity to do something with this media. I do drawings, I do sculpture. it depends how the idea is. I call that a multidisciplinary attitude.’

gaetano pesce studio visit
examples of his early works, personal drawings, and resin models are interspersed throughout
image © designboom

 

 

pesce’s ‘up chair’ finds a home in a busy area of the workspace, brimming with small-scale sculptures, architectural maquettes and personal photographs placed on shelves. on a nearby wall hangs a colorful collection of hand-molded resin invitations, which pesce uniquely makes especially for his own exhibitions and events. newspaper clippings, preliminary sketches, and curious collectibles provide a peek into the pesce universe.

 

‘imperfection becomes something that I’ve discovered people really like,’ pesce says about his approach in working with a range of styles and scales. ‘sometimes, some designers and some artists try always to be perfect — but it’s wrong — because perfection is very abstract; very neutral; very cold. the mistake, and the fault, are very human.’

gaetano pesce studio visit
up chair 5&6, 1969
image courtesy of gaetano pesce’s office

 

 

pesce has called new york city home for more than 30 years, and works across two spaces — the one in soho seen here, and a larger workshop in brooklyn where he ‘makes experiences’. his special relationship with the city is drawn from its multifaceted and independent nature — a subtle reflection of his own life and work.

 

‘living in new york is like living in the city that is the nature of a city. it is very close to the nature of our time — very confident, very pluralistic, very liquid in a certain way,’ pesce told designboom. ‘you have values that go up and down. this city is a little bit like that. this is not a city that is homogeneous. london is not like this, paris is not like this, franfurt, berlin, rome is not like this. jerusulam is not. this is really the city of difference…diversity.’

gaetano pesce studio visit
a series of shelves are brimming with small-scale sculptures, architectural maquettes and personal photographs 
image © designboom

 

 

during milan design week 2017, pesce presents a pair of outdoor installations across the city, which include scaled-up variations and re-interpretations of his ‘UP’ chair.

gaetano pesce studio visit
the objects lining the walls surround the team working at pesce’s studio in soho 
image © designboom

gaetano pesce studio visit
newspaper clippings, preliminary sketches, and curious collectibles provide a peek into the pesce universe
image © designboom

gaetano pesce studio visit
a drawing of pesce’s pluralist tower, envisioned as a building where different architects would design each floor 
image © designboom

gaetano pesce studio visit
models of pesce’s collaboration with melissa shoes on ‘fontessa’, a pair of resin sandals
image © designboom

gaetano pesce studio visit
a colorful collection of hand-molded resin invitations, which pesce makes uniquely for his events
image © designboom

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a diverse collection of objects line the a series of shelves in the workspace 
image © designboom

gaetano-pesce-studio-visit-new-york-designboom-002
quirky resin belts (right) bear the funny faces of abstract alligators and birds 
image © designboom

gaetano-pesce-studio-visit-new-york-designboom-1200
drawings, sketches and photos line the wall, including a framed picture of pesce’s ‘organic building’
image © designboom

gaetano-pesce-studio-visit-new-york-designboom-1300
organic building, 1989-1993
image courtesy of gaetano pesce’s office

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a main shelf with a sequence of square apertures hosts a variety of models and small-scale objects
image © designboom

gaetano-pesce-studio-visit-new-york-designboom-1400
abstract faces are a common motif that threads its way through pesce’s work 
image © designboom

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the soho space is one of two new york locations — the other of which is in brooklyn
image © designboom

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pesce has been working out of the soho building for about 30 years 
image © designboom

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portrait of gaetano pesce
image © designboom

Save

  • I used to work in the office in 1998 to 2001, these photos are filled with memories. In the loft all these objects are like people, they have a presence, a skin and need attention. They are all connected by their mold of creation, all connected to Gaetano and those who made them.

    Frederic Debackere says:

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