The seating collaboration of Paola Lenti and Estudio Campana

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“Working on this project has been a gift for us,” designers Humberto and Fernando Campana say of their new collaboration with Italian company Paola Lenti. Entitled ‘Metamorphosis’, to suggest the transformation of materials in the hands of designers, this collection will be unveiled during Milan Design Week 2022, at the brand’s headquarters on Via Po, Meda, and aims to raise awareness of the future of sustainable productions, and the beauty of materials with past lives. Indeed, the series of seats, developed by the Brazilians in close collaboration with the company, are made of carpet or textile waste, now ready for a new life.

Initially, the brand’s eponymous founder, Paola Lenti — a designer who works in tandem with her sister Anna, a nuclear engineer — sent a huge box full of small, colorful fabric fragments to Brazil. The Campanas called it a “treasure”, capable of generating endless results. There were other reasons for their enthusiasm: “We were intrigued by the opportunity to work with a global company that held high standards every step of the way. We were touched by their recognition of our creative process, reflected in a real openness to integrating the Campana look into this collection,” they say.

Some of the waste that inspired the collection

“What could a simple piece of rope be transformed into? A flower? A seaweed? What can become of a piece of tissue? How could we play with colors? Paula wondered. Inspired by nature and named after different types of insects, the resulting collection transforms unwanted materials into unique pieces that take on organic shapes; each handmade piece is slightly different, depending on “the catch of the day”.

Importantly, Coulture Migrante, a workshop in Como that focuses on providing opportunities for women and men at risk of social exclusion, was commissioned with part of the production: “Beauty cannot and should not not be separated from ethics. If I want to be really sustainable, I can’t ignore ethics. So why not commit to reducing inequalities, as well as consumption? reflects Paola.

It is a philosophy that resonates with the Campanas. “Thirteen years ago, we founded the Instituto Campana to offer work to different communities, from independent artisans to vulnerable people,” the brothers explain. “Currently, we are working on an old dream of ours: to build a park in our hometown of Brotas that merges art with nature, with pavilions made with local materials, plants and natural fibers, surrounded by native forest. We have planted 20,000 native trees over the past 20 years. The project, which includes a learning center, aims to restore the Atlantic Forest that once covered this region. It will be a place of healing and contemplation.

The seating collection includes a range of giant bolster cushions and pebble shaped divans, each handmade using different recycled fabrics and yarns

The two pairs of siblings also found a common enthusiasm for the color. “For me, color is a feeling. It has a thousand different facets, a thousand possibilities,” says Paola of her practice. Color seems to take hold of his pieces, transforming playful shapes into poetic and vibrant furniture. A flamboyant color palette and forward-looking design are the cornerstones of the brand, founded in 1994. Since then, it has expanded internationally and become an industry leader through its research into natural materials.

The Lenti sisters have always been dedicated to their quest for high quality recycled materials. From the development of Twiggy yarn, which is 100% recyclable and eco-compatible, to the use of Aerelle Blue, a German fiber made entirely from plastic waste that is used as furniture upholstery, the brand continues to innovate and improve. exemplify conscious design. Likewise, the Campana brothers have been pioneers of sustainable design for more than 35 years, creating objects that reflect their heritage and local traditions. The pair combine shapes and materials, creating something otherworldly, sometimes strange, but deeply and poignantly beautiful. Since their “Favela” chair in 1991, they have created pieces of furniture that blend rural characteristics with colorful Brazilian urban vistas, fuse the smooth with the rough, and juxtapose the processed with the found. Inspired by all things natural and organic, by popular culture and backyard gardens, by forests and bystanders, they combine Brazilian heritage, craftsmanship and artistry with sustainable design and high quality.

Paola Lenti, Anna Lenti and Humberto Campana with pieces from the ‘Metamorphosis’ collection

‘Metamorphosis’ marks the first collaboration between the designers and Paola Lenti, partners who, although geographically and culturally distant, have found common ground in their work and lives – sometimes by chance, others by choice. aware and shared professionals. Paola admits that she, her sister and the Campanas are “linked by a series of coincidences”. “The Campanas are two brothers, Anna Lenti and I are two sisters. Humberto and I are both Pisces, while his brother Fernando and my sister Anna are Taurus. Finally, we share a childlike curiosity, an astonishment at the aspects of life that allow us to always seek beauty.

The Campanas add: “It is a pleasure to work with Paola. She brings humanity and a certain lightness to the table that allows things to flow in harmony. Beyond seat designs, their partnership has also resulted in a film titled Che Spreco Rinunciare (What a Waste to Waste), directed by Maurizio Natta. Starring Humberto, the film presents a fairy tale about how beautiful recycling can be. §

Shiny threads discarded during the production process

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