Transparency Matters: Furniture, Lighting & Art Collection by Draga & Aurel.
Como-based duo Draga Obradovic and Aurel Basedow of Draga & Aurel have presented their new collection ‘Transparency Matters’ at Milan Design Week 2019, their first solo presentation at Salone del Mobile in a decade. Spanning furniture and lighting for both indoor and outdoor use, the collection takes inspiration from bold and quirky sources such as Space Age design and Optic Art, combined with Minimalism’s simplified volumes.
Tinted resin is the primary material used for the collection, versatile in both colour and opacity. Mineral-toned cast glass wall lights look like glowing piano keys, mounted in linear rows across the Brera gallery walls. Three different shades of glass are melted together to achieve precise colourations, with slips of coloured resin inserted over the light source to further enhance their hues. The jade and amber tones are reminiscent of sea glass, while pink and purple versions are jewel-like.
Inspired by clusters of wildflowers, cast-bronze tables feature round coloured resin tops connected by cast bronze at staggered heights. A nod to their seminal work reupholstering thrifted furnishings, select vintage pieces make an appearance, such as a pair of matte painted Gaia armchairs, designed by Carlo Bartoli for Arflex in 1965.
‘Transparency’ has a double meaning for the designers, beyond referencing the translucent qualities of the materials in the collection. As Obradovic notes, it’s more about an attitude. “From Transparency, we think of transformation, transition, transgression, transnational: all words that describe us and our more than ten years of working together.”
Cast-resin screens on bronze rods bolted to the floor and ceiling delineated the 200sqm gallery interior. A bright central space displayed the new furniture, while dimly-lit private offshoot rooms were designed to highlight the atmospheric resin and glass coloured lights. A series of large scale paintings created by Basedow complemented the collection.
“This collection is a symbol of our evolution as designers and artists. We approached the project holistically, mastering new processes, working with new materials and creating each piece by hand in our atelier. Designing this solo collection was an opportunity for us to express our joy and think outside the box,” says Obradovic.