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Massimo Castagna, with Tonelli beyond the glass

The artistic director takes the company by the hand in a path of design evolution

Tonelli Design‘s talent is to work with glass in a sophisticated and contemporary way: this is the aspect that recurs in its collections, the result of a profound knowledge of the material and constant creative and design research that enhances its beauty and amplifies its opportunities. The artistic direction of Massimo Castagna also goes in this direction, which has led the brand to expand into the area of upholstered furniture too, with the Soft Glass collection presented at the latest edition of the Salone del Mobile. Soft Glass is characterized by generous and comfortable seats, visually soft and enveloping and a twist: the base in laminated and welded glass with a thickness of 20mm, with an extra clear, smoked and bronze finish. This design solution gives extreme lightness to the living room and hits the target of interpreting glass in an unexpected and effective key, fulfilling and surpassing the characteristic function of the sofa to make it special and sophisticated. Castagna also presented the new AW_Chair seating collection for Tonelli: in extremely comfortable and versatile solid ash wood and fabric, this chair is an example of the multi-material experimentation imagined by the designer for the company. Without ever neglecting the design poetics, as he himself says.

In Tonelli’s artistic direction, what are the priorities now?

With Tonelli design we have been developing for some years an evolution process to bring the company to take care of the whole house with an approach that distinguishes it, with a multi-material approach going beyond glass, a material of which Tonelli design is an excellence. This process takes time to build the range of necessary products, get this approach read and affirmed on the market; it is important that this approach is pursued.

What are the distinctive features of the new collection you designed?

We summarize Tonelli Design’s identity in its title, “The new modernism”, products with their own individual character linked to that culture of design that characterizes the history of the brand, forming part of a personal home model, contemporary and original but, at the same time, timeless. This year I tried to think up unusual products for Tonelli Design, a sofa, a chair with a wooden structure, a day system for TV in glass and wood, all products not only in glass, each product with a specific material research. But what I think is the most important thing is the way we have formed the individual groups, with the contributions of various hands that we have coordinated in this process.

What has changed in architectural design in general in recent years and what do you foresee for the near future?

In recent years I believe there has been a great evolution, in general an overall increase in the quality level of the projects but also a significant leveling, in the process, of a way of approaching projects which forces us to work by forming a team of professionals, each one specializing in a single theme, less and less “craftsmen” and more “industries”. Perhaps our masters were more visionary, perhaps freer, often more poetic, I don’t want to criticize a class of decidedly capable and interesting contemporary designers, I don’t know what the future will bring but I would like to find a higher level of poetics.


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