Italy-based Rossana Orlandi Gallery, located in Milan and Porto Cervo, made its debut at the Lake Como Design Festival this year. The festival was held from September 16 to 24, 2023, during which the art gallery presented LEWIT, a sculptural bed arising from a creative symbiosis between Italian design studio Draga & Aurel and Italian architect Giuliano dell’Uva, in collaboration with the Italian textile company Somma1867. Set in the fireplace room called ‘Sala del Camino’ of Villa Olmo, one of the lake’s historical dwellings, LEWIT is a free-standing piece of furniture. Crafted as a three-dimensional artwork, it merges contemporary design and aesthetics with explicit references to the artistic avant-garde of the 1960s and 70s Italy.
LEWIT’s resin and concrete headboard is embellished with metallic details. The basic geometric shapes contrast with the bare materials, bright, vivid colours, and neon accent lights. The overall design recalls work by minimalists such as Donald Judd and Dan Flavin and the clever conceptual architectural installations of Sol LeWitt, to whose name the bed pays tribute.
In contrast, the cashmere and wool plaid Basedow throw created as a limited edition for the project by Somma1867 features a free, abstract, and untamed composition by Aurel K. The product designer draws clear references to American abstract expressionism and action painting, in which gesture becomes form and form comes to life through colour. “We worked with monumental, archetypal forms, drawing inspiration from the great works of nature and humankind, attempting to elevate a household item such as a bed, which in Lewit has become sculpture and performance art”, add Draga & Aurel.
In keeping with the design festival’s theme ‘Naturalis Historia’, Draga & Aurel’s product design expresses an encounter between nature and humankind. The latter is portrayed by controlled rational lines that simultaneously become creativity, brilliance, and boldness representing LeWitt, in which light, shadows, depth, and transparency coexist. Likewise, the colours allude to the natural aquatic world of the lake, with sometimes subtle, sometimes impetuous shades of blue and touches of the deepest greens.