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A New Redoubt Of Design In Italy, By John Pawson

Mosaics may be how Bisazza made its name, but the ultra-luxury Italian brand has recently expanded its reach far beyond the realm of fancy glass tiles. The Fondazione Bisazza, which opened to the public last month in Montecchio Maggiore, Italy, is a private non-profit celebrating the enduring impact of modern design and architecture. Installations from the field’s multi-national superstars like Patricia Urquiola, Jaime Hayon, Ettore Sottsass, Marcel Wanders make up the nascent permanent collection and a traveling exhibition by British designer John Pawson helped to kick things off.

Fresh from the Design Museum in London, the ultra-minimal Plain Space, which chronicles Pawson’s creative career over the past three decades, might seem like an interesting choice for the foundation’s first show considering Bisazza’s predilection for sparkle, sheen, and shine. But set amongst the idyllic surroundings of Vicenza, without the spatial restrictions of a traditional venue, the mix of photographs, films, models, and objects offers a nice punctuation to the clean lines of the locale.

In addition there is a site-specific work called the 1:1, a geometric structure described in the video above by the man himself as “a way for visitors to have a direct experience of Pawson space.” It also marks the first time he’s used mosaics. “What I do is built around people,” he says. “I hope people feel good [here].”

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