The Ferruccio Laviani-designed space will bring together design, culture and commerce…
Italian lighting company Foscarini has opened its first physical location in USA in New York City, during the city’s official design week in May. Called Foscarini Spazio Soho, the 3,500 sq ft location will combine retail and contract capabilities, as well as host site-specific installations by artists and designers. The Italian brand’s first store in Milan, Foscarini Spazio Brera opened in Milan during Salone del Mobile earlier this year.
“The space will tell our brand stories, communicate emotions and stimulate creativity,” said Carlo Urbinati, co-founder and co-owner of Foscarini. “Our aim is to interest a larger public, all those fascinated by creativity.” The designer, Ferruccio Laviani, created a hybrid space that could have a double function: on one side to give a message strictly related to the brand identity, through site-specific installations, on the other side to display the collection. “As opposed to a multi-brand shop, we wanted to design a space where the visitors can directly get in touch with the company in a personal way, through a striking, warm welcome,” Laviani explains.
Foscarini Spazio Soho on 17 Greene Street will debut with an exhibition by the Italian artist Stefano Arienti who will create a site-specific installation of his piece, Algae, at the opening of the space. Carlo UIrbinati says, “Arienti’s work helps us communicate that the new space will not be an ordinary store, but a place to stimulate thoughts and new ideas.”
Arienti will install Algae in a way to invade Foscarini’s space, with pieces of its plastic forms coming down the 17 ft ceilings. Algae dates back to Arienti’s first solo exhibition in 1986 and has never been shown outside Italy. The piece is made up of plastic bags the artist collected over the years and cut crisscross to turn them into long and aquatic plant-like forms with a rich texture. Hung together Algae’s cut plastic ‘shreds’ create a moving topography marked by the beauty of synthetic bright colours and a near-natural chaotic texture.
“Arienti works with many different materials, and transforms them from the original use they were meant for, which is in a way similar to our constant exploration of materials and forms,” said Alessandro Vecchiato, co-owner of Foscarini.
“The New York location is meant to be a space to communicate our vision and interests as a company serving a cross section of the population,” said Glenn Ludwig, CEO of Foscarini North America. “We will be welcoming with consumers searching for individual design ideas or contract clients looking for a bigger solution, both in the same way.” The space will also hold a series of industry events, panels and educational sessions.