Arcadia Project is rooted in research, research and experience abroad, in order to create an eco-sustainable and highly depth Made in Italy product
Arcadia Project (PROGETTO ARCADIA) is the new frontier of eco-sustainable art-design. With values, emotions and innovations that we simply find at the base of research, experimentation, and the discover of something new. The desire to test a tangible reality, but with deeply rooted in their dreams, gave to Massimo Germani and Elena Gentilini this new idea, which gave life to their thoughts.
Arcadia Project was born in 2013, when Massimo and Elena, the two founding members (as well as life's companions), moved from Florence to Spoleto (Italy). Massimo is an architect, graduated in Florence. Until 2016 he was a member of the DAS (Sustainable Architecture Debate) Committee of the Architects' Order in Florence. Elena comes from research, with a PhD in Regional Geography and periods of research abroad, particularly in London. She has published articles on social exclusion, urban regeneration and sustainable tourism.
Their idea was immediately to create a multidisciplinary atelier, with design and projecting at the center. But which spanned over various areas to offer complete services: from architecture to design, from territory (landscape, urban planning, sustainable local development) to art, events and publishing.
This Sturt-up expanded, beginning stable collaborations with designer Michele Zualdi and architect Simona Proietti. At the same time, ARCADIA DESIGN has begun manufacturing a line of furniture based on a support structure conceived a few years before, in order to realize a chair that did not need special tools to be built.
The structure is modular, and allows for a contemporary, sustainable and educational-play of classical chair. The project immediately received a co-financing by Umbria Region, for innovative start-up, in order to develop, through a one-year research agreement with the GRISS Center of the Bicocca University of Milan, the characteristics of a sustainability product.
Today Arcadia Project sells EASYDiA + EASYoLo, 100% Made in Italy (Central Italy) table and chair developed in Kids version (18 months-5 years), Junior (5-10 years) and Standard (for adult), with a patent application in progress 10 registered models. The art-design structure proved to be versatile. They has thus been developed 6 table models, different types of consoles, living tables and bedside tables, benches, tall and low stools, armchairs, bookcases, and storage cabinets.
But above all, they were defined the sustainability, stringent and innovative criteria. Solid wood: EU ash certified by FSC, as close as possible to us (Croatia) to minimize transport impacts. Along with a limited edition realized highlighting the beautiful chestnut of Centre Italy. It is a wonderful, warm and character wood, that it was abandoned for decades because it is too "loaded", with veins and knots. It tanninscomes from Arquata del Tronto (between Umbria and Marche) and Monte Amiata, in Tuscany.
Equilibri met Elena and Massimo for an interview on current issues related to their business, sustainable development and design.
What rapresent the Arcadia project? Not only by a business point of view, but by an ethical standpoint.
We were born with the idea of bringing sustainability into everyday life. We thought, as design has brought functionality and beauty to everyone, today it should bring sustainability, which should not be a choice, but our common feeling. Since then, we have never stopped designing, putting sustainability in the very heart of our projects. Without this being to the detriment of interaction, personalization, design quality and realization. Objects are a transmission of knowledge. Anyway the concept of sustainability is not taken for granted: in times of rapid and sudden changes, we live daily in the uncertainty of not knowing, or knowing partially. For this reason, a collaboration with the experts of the GRISS Center (Sustainable Development Research Group) was established in Bicocca University of Milan.
Then we began to explore the concept of circularity, which in its simplicity, if it really was applied through reuse, and not limited to mere recycling, it would have so many advantages.
Environment and sustainability are two of the most current themes of the moment. Is the buyer more careful than the past in the choice of environmentally friendly materials?
We can not be categorical because we have a fairly short story behind, but some data are not reassuring. We know that in the best of cases, there is a lot of wait and there is an increasingly marked divide, between very low-price choices, in terms of price and quality, and upward choices. but they do not always reward sustainability, as other factors. At worst, green washing is unfortunately the most profitable choice. Surely the economic crisis and global changes, in addition to our information system, do not favor informed choices. Quality, durability, even safety are often not the main motivators. Attention to costs is probably a sign of wisdom, but we have the impression that we live in a state of constant frustration that drives us to seek immediate satisfaction at unreasonable prices, by speculating on longer-term satisfaction. By this point of view I am sorry to say that in Italy attention is falling, while in other countries, like England, fortunately it is growing.
If you had to choose three highlights among your projects, what would you suggest?
EASYDiA + EASYOlo chair and table. A classic line revisited. A support structure that (again) in its simplicity can be declined in so many models and versions. of which we have only shown a small part of it, for now. It can be mounted and customized with ease, like a Lego. Plus, it minimizes transport impacts and facilitates maintenance, and re-use. Currently it is marketed in the Kids and Junior version, but I also love it the adult version. So we are thinking about a crowdfunding. We also say a project that is underway: the construction system based on EASYDiA + EASYoLo machining sprays. Both of these projects have confirmed that, in particular, children, but also adults, need to return to the simplicity of the things we still manage to do. Simple geometric shapes, colors and materials, can evoke worlds that still have the power to represent us in an instant. For the third, there is prototype work. Oberon | Puck | Titania, is a triptyc food design by Michele Zualdi, for the OUTumbro project by Umbria Food Cluster, in collaboration with other Umbrian designers and ADI Umbria, for the enhancement of some local food and food excellence. And above all, of the experiences they accompany these flavors: landscapes, materials, workmanship, exploration, collection, conservation, preparation.
Arcadia is a start-up with great potential. What would you recommend to young architects and designers who want to give life to their ideas?
To get together, to collaborate, to study and travel. To develop those skills of teamwork and specialization, then to space and research what the environment in which you live can not give!
ARCADIA DESIGN by PROGETTO ARCADIA
Spoleto (PG) 06049, Italy
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