Created in collaboration with Spanish furniture brand Sancal, this collection gives form to the concept of emptiness
Rather than a design brief leading the direction of this collaboration between Note Design Studio and Spanish furniture brand Sancal, it was a question: ‘What defines an object? The matter itself, or the void that surrounds it?’
The resulting collection, Void Matters, plays with the idea of form and emptiness for furniture with sculptural quality defined as much by what’s missing as what’s there. Its seating concepts, named Core and Remnant, take the same silhouette yet an opposite approach. Core is the positive space of the form, while Remnant is the negative – the outline of the same chair yet suspended above an empty space.
The latter proved a feat of engineering for Sancal’s production team, who needed to manufacture a structurally sustaining chair with no direct support beneath the seat. The solution was a triangulated metallic structure inspired by architectural weight-distribution techniques and three seamlessly connected injection moulded pieces.
“The idea was to put emphasis on nothing,” says Cristiano Pigazzini of Note Design Studio. “By acknowledging this emptiness, it becomes a design element just as important as the objects themselves.”
“While positive shapes often are associated with strong, active, qualities, negative space is calm and peaceful and leaves room for interpretation. Our thesis was that the juxtaposition of these two relative spaces would bring something new and thought-provoking to a room.”
Void Matters is comprised of four design families – the Core and Remnant chair/sofa; Vestige, a sculptural table form with a semi-circular relief; and Dividuals, a set of pouffes that fit together snugly. All the designs are available in a range of textiles and finishes. To further explore the concept, Note Design Studio also created a range of ceramic sculptures, evolved from the Swedish studio’s sketches and digital modelling for this collection.
The collection was originally scheduled to be debuted at Sancal’s stand at Salone de Mobile in April; however, with the cancellation of the annual show due to the Covid-19 pandemic, time was allotted to re-visit and finesse the designs.
For Note, the collection also represents the exploration of a world free from the pressures of the design fair calendar. “We have always felt that too many decisions are made to meet the demands and timing of the large fairs and that companies are expected to launch new things every year to stay relevant,” says says Cristiano. “Perhaps the pandemic has opened up new ways of thinking when it comes to launching products, ways in which a more responsible and holistic approach can be implemented, from both environmental and social sustainability perspectives.”
All images courtesy of Note Design Studio