The history of Matteograssi is as rich as the country where it was founded. In 1880, Matteograssi began producing saddles, bridles, reins and other leather equipment in Mariano Comense, Italy, north of Milan. The company quickly evolved due to the increase in industry in the area, and started producing furniture by the end of WW2. Because of their background in saddlery, their materials of choice included leather, coach hide, wood, glass, and steel. In 1978, the family decided to establish the company Matteograssi and develop a furniture line of its own.
The Matteograssi collection has been created by famed designers like Tito Agnoli, Piero Lissoni, Guglielmo Ulrich, Mauro Lipparini and Rodolfo Dordoni (pictured above). These designers have helped to shape the image of the company and guided the direction of the Matteograssi.
Because of the craftsmanship and materials used, Matteograssi has been a popular choice for commercial designers and architects for use in public spaces. Their first commercial applications included lounges Fiumicino (Rome), Frankfurt and Malpensa (Milan) airports. However, their designs have been equally popular for residential design. They have now extended their designs and created a softer feel for their furniture, experimenting with fabrics and materials other than their traditional leather. Matteograssi continues to be an innovator in modern Italian-made furniture, producing and distributing accessible and diverse designs around the world.
View Matteograssi pieces at HFOC.
Finnish born Interior Architect and Furniture Designer Simo Heikkilä is known by his peers as a humorous personality that loves design and to help young and aspiring designers. He is an avid campaigner for local design and production and criticises the mass production of goods produced by the global industry.
Designs of Simo Heikkilä
After setting up his studio in 1971, he began producing popular Scandinavian style designs including modern furniture and interior accessories. He has won a number of prestigious design awards including the Pro Finlandia Medal in 2003 and the Kaj Franck Design Prize in 2011.
In 1989, he received a long-term grant, which enabled him to create his famed experimental work. The results of this work continue to be used in his products today. His material of choice is wood on furniture pieces, such as the Divan Cane Lounger. His extensive experience extends to teachings in wood carving and working as the head of the wood studio at the University of Art and Design Helsinki.
Divan Cane Chair by Simo Heikkilä
Simo Heikkilä’s furniture is known for their simplistic designs, quality and versatility. His ability to create lightness and functionality in his pieces make him a favourite among international interior designers. He is an ongoing supporter of modern and sustainable design, making him a forerunner in modern furniture production.
The documentary, Life Architecturally
, is an inspiring story of Australian design and architecture. The film follows internationally acclaimed husband and wife team Robert McBride and Debbie Ryan to discover what inspires their innovative concepts. It observes the complex procedures when designing multi-story buildings, schools, and even the ongoing construction of the duo’s family home. The unfortunate part – the construction of their own space is put on the back burner because of their busy schedules. The down-to-earth parents are considered leaders in the modern architectural movement.
Many designers and architects will relate to their ongoing struggle to create bold new designs and get each project off the ground. Their designs are changing the look of Melbourne and creating a buzz about Australian architecture. Their spiral shaped “Klein Bottle house” received the prestigious World Architecture Festival Award for best residential house in the world in 2009. Many of their acclaimed projects include a copper dome shaped house fitted like jig-saw puzzle and a house extension that resembles a cloud (see above).
The one hour and twenty minute documentary follows the architects over a period of one year, introducing viewers into their lives, working relationships, and vast inspiration.
You can view more projects by visiting the website of McBride Charles Ryan.
Minimilast touches perfect for this New York beach house. Get more ideas for your own home by visiting Architectural Digest.
Designer Jennifer Post creates minimilast look at this 5000 sq. ft. penthouse in Miami’s South Beach. Visit Architectural Digest for more inspiring ideas.
Architectural Digest: A good chandelier does more than just brighten a room—the right one can totally transform a space. See for yourself in our glittering slide show of hanging fixtures.
Grand Designs Australia Live! Coming to Melbourne in September and Sydney in October 2012. Start making grand plans.