“Sustainability has been overused, and it can mean many things, or just a few,” say the designers Giorgia Zanellato and Daniele Bortotto, two of the protagonists of La sostanza dei sogni, an encounter organized by Bolzan at the island of San Servolo in Venice, on the eve of the event VID – Venice Innovation Design.
“We feel responsible for the design of an object, which should be timeless and should last as long as possible,” Zanellato and Bortotto continue. “This is why instead of designing a new bed we have chosen to renew the covering of Jack, our model from five years ago. For us, sustainability means designing things that last, in terms of form and materials, telling a story through those things.” Hence the structure of the bed – originally in metal – is now made of wood, while the textile part has been produced with a special fabric, or in natural cowhide.
The outcome is an effort of research on materials and workmanship, leading the designers and the company to cross paths with three excellent producers, all closely linked to the territory in a range of 300 kilometers, reaching into Friuli, Veneto and Lombardy: the Presot tannery and the Torri Lana 1855 textile mill, which continue to work as they did one century ago, in a totally natural way. And the LorisTill woodworking shop, which has also utilized stones and clays to color the ash wood of the bed’s structure.
During the encounter, all the participants – including Zanellato Bortotto – narrated various aspects. Elisabetta Bolzan talked about entrepreneurial challenges, while Eugenia Presot explained that the leathers that emerge from her tannery, treated for months only with water and tannins, become a material that bears the signs of a story. Loris Giacomin, carpenter and alchemist, illustrated ancient, fascinating working methods, which he continues to apply with great passion – the same expertise and love of the material that emerged from the remarks of Massimo Belotti of Torri Lana 1885.
Just as the link with history and tradition is important, so is the bond with the territory: the new version of Jack has colors based on those of the frescos of the cathedral of Sacile, the location of Bolzan; the hemp and cotton fabric used in several versions for the headboard and footboard, also designed by Zanellato Bortotto, reflect a stylized image of the willow trees within that landscape. Every element has a story to tell: a design project thus becomes a statement of values.