FANTASY TO FUNCTIONALITY
Dunimak Pvt Ltd
In conversation with Ivano Di Paolo of Sassuolo, Modena in Italy. Ivano is the Managing Director of the revered Gardenia Orchidea & Versace Ceramics.
Q | Your products are known to add a certain aura of supremacy to a space, how does this process begin?
A | We have a wide spectrum of tiles that can be translated into many feelings. Our tiles are designed to eventuate the perfect balance between timeless classic and modernday vibe. Each collection of our range tells a story. For instance, Just Venice Collection by Gardenia Orchidea is inspired by the Briccola wood tree trunks in the Venice Lagoon to moor the gondolas. These Briccole are immersed in sea waters for long periods and pierced by shipworms, small mollusks that sculpt the wood into inimitable embellishments creating a precious material. We place great emphasis on symbolic value of social and cultural contexts. As a result, we hold a degree of uniqueness in our products and that makes products of Gardenia Orchidea and Versace Ceramics exclusive.
Q | Which parts of the world are your biggest markets?
A | Our main markets are Far East, Russia, USA and Europe.
Q | What is the premise of Gardenia Orchidea and Versace Ceramics principles of design?
A | Our designs are an acquired taste. Our priority is not about topping indexes or any ostensible rankings. Our requirement is to be understood and then be desired which is something we have mastered in an artisanal manner.
Q | Is beauty an essential aspect in designing a space or does it disrupt the functionality?
A | As a manufacturer and a designer, we always want to create things that are visually delightful. Having said that, people have different appreciation of beauty. For some, stubbed out cigarette butts can be an expression of beauty. Everyone has an expectation; through designs these expectations have to be met or exceeded. We aim to exceed these expectations by pleasantly surprising the client. Disruption to functionality happens when the importance of beauty is taken for granted. If the main concern of the client is the price per square meter and nothing else, then happens disruption to functionality. Beauty in design is a way to escape the mostly monotonous life to a place that is the ideal combination of fantasy and practicality at least for few hours a day.
Q | You are a victim of bootleg creations, please illustrate.
A | Yes. This happens. This would happen to anyone who present the world with something new to think about. We are unfazed by this situation as it is not something we can completely avoid especially when we are in the forefront of originality. Our products and ideas go through a design evolution; first comes the element of surprise, then comes the action of espousing and finally heading to the design vault. We also have a range of products that do not go through this evolution, these products remain in the first phase of the cycle, the element of surprise. These products can be copied but almost impossible to have the exactness of elements grasped. When a brand does not do anything original, rely on copying and imitating, the journey is short and the downfall comes without knowledge.
Q | How would you characterize the Sri Lankan market ?
A | The Sri Lankan market is experimental, adaptive, very progressive and most importantly an intelligent market. The customer is well informed and the main area of the customer’s concern is on the quality and aesthetic aspect of the product. We have worked on a few projects in the country and are on our way in to the market. The country’s mood fits ours.
Q | What does ‘Made in Italy’ reflect, essentially?
A | “Made in Italy” means Made by Italians with an Italian mentality in Italy using Italian materials. As any country would do, we are proud of our local produce. Our products stand out for its routes with the artisanal exposure that is typical of the Italian culture. People pay a price to buy something that is Made in Italy. As an Italian brand, it is our duty to be sincere to people who trust our craftsmanship.
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ARTRA is Sri Lanka’s Art Magazine exploring curated content on Sri Lanka’s visual art, performance art, applied art and written art. Launched in 2012, ARTRA Magazine is a compact monthly art read providing a comprehensive understanding on Sri Lankan artists, art events, monthly art calendars and the Sri Lankan design landscape. In sum, all you need to know about art in Sri Lanka.