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Published by Sugar & Cream, Wednesday 03 April 2024

Images courtesy of Atelier Tapis Rouge

Showroom Atelier Tapis Rouge via dell’Annunciata 26: 16 -21 Aprile 2024

On the occasion of Milano Design Week, Atelier Tapis Rouge completely renews the layout of its exhibition space, which opened a few months ago in Via dell’Annunciata in Milan, and presents the Inganni Spaziali collection designed by Armando Milani, an authoritative Italian voice on the international graphic design scene.

The four rugs that complete the collection are the large-scale transposition of analog works belonging to the 1970s and pay homage to the aesthetics of an era marked by freedom of expression, the courage of experimentation, and a spontaneous and playful approach that used the union of different expressive media to develop ideas and find inspiration: from photographs of paper sculptures came to life boundless images, sources of inspiration for graphics that in this case, Milani developed on behalf of well-known consumer goods brands, pharmaceutical companies, magazines, institutions, ethical posters.

Fascinating was the work commissioned by some pharmaceutical companies of the time that aimed to convey, to the consumer visually, the effect of the drug: one above all, Nirvanil, a tranquilizer produced by Midy, whose design on the brochure – developed on paper maquette – reproduced waves evocative of an idea of well-being, calm, and relaxation.

Armando Milani

Inganni Spaziali is a collection inspired by the masters of Bauhaus and my favorite Milanese designers of the time, Franco Grignani, AG Fronzoni, and minimalist artists such as Lucio Fontana and Enrico Castellani. I have always been fascinated by the three-dimensionality and extreme visual rigor of their works achieved by the clever use of photos and typography. I am happy that Tapis Rouge proposed to reproduce these designs because it allowed me to relive the spirit of an era.” – Armando Milani –

Non-uniform wool and silk compositions were combined in different concentrations to make the weave of the rug and to achieve the irregular, flat, and textured surface, the three-dimensional appearance of volumes, and the alternation of chiaroscuro. The warm and cold palettes of greys and the homogeneous height of the natural pile evoke the surface of the cotton paper by returning a soft and tactile feeling.

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Emozioni, Illusione, Groviglio, and Connessioni are the names of the carpets but also metaphors for emotional landscapes encapsulated by the juxtaposition of the words “Inganni” (tricks)” and “Spaziali” (spacial)” where “Inganni” takes on an almost poetic connotation, finding personal translations in the psychological pathways of the viewer of the works and “Spaziali” evokes the hyperbolic of the immensity of space and the contemporary fascination of the encoding of digital language.

Progressive shading that gradually transforms black into white characterizes the pattern of this rug, which, through a tactile sensation of softness, suggests a similar psychic dimension. Milani generated the design from a maquette composed of five folded paper strips, reworked, modeled, and photographed.

Geometric optical pattern with a spectacular three-dimensional illusionary effect.

The alternation of black and white, of angular and curved, of superimposed and stretched, testify to a unique expertise in palette selection and the complex output of the gradient in all its “pixels,” achieved through the choice of knotting techniques and the quality of each knot that can contain a variable number of wool and silk threads in different compositions.

The original design was inspired by a collage of numerous hair foliage cut out from magazines, assembled, observed, and graphically reproduced. The image evokes the wave-like motions found in nature, plant entanglements, and tangles of skeins that metaphorically become tangles of thoughts in a psychic dimension.

Like a childhood game, this pattern was inspired by elementary paper chains that create symmetrical connections that enchant the viewer in an illusory visual match.

“Sometimes I thought about designing products, but I never felt equal to sacred monsters like Enzo Mari and Bruno Munari… I always liked the game. The illusion of having two dimensions, three dimensions. The optical illusion, the trick. Something that may be very small in the image can completely lose dimensions, edges, and boundaries. It’s a borderless image, somehow, in terms of size.” – Armando Milani –

Tapis Rouge develops and designs most of its collections in-house, thanks to the presence of an experienced group of designers; however, it is by vocation, committed to the production of special projects involving intellectual and artistic research outside the trends of the moment, to create original content with the ambition to produce value.

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