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Homo Faber 2018 – The Imaginary of India Mahdavi – In the upcoming month of September, the leading Swiss-based entity, Michelangelo Foundation will present in Venice, Italy, a new edition of the Homo Faber Event, a unique design and craftsmanship event that is set to place from 14-30 at Fondazione Giorgio Cini.

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This exclusive event is regarded as the major cultural exhibition dedicated to European craftsmanship. Amongst the top exhibits of the Homo Faber we have to stand out Imaginary Architecture by India Mahdavi, the renowned Paris-based architect and designer, has devised two contemporary ‘follies’ to show what can be achieved when the finest European craftsmanship is put in the service of imagination.

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Using fine craftsmanship as her base material, and knowledge as her alphabet, Mahdavi applies her vivid imagination to tell a personal story of her relationship with the worlds of master artisans. The result is two highly inventive spaces that encompass the passion and excellence of artisans and the imagination of a visionary designer.

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Together, they show that traditional fine craftsmanship does have a place in the modern world, and that traditional artisanal techniques can be used to create exciting new spaces for contemporary life. Lt us dive into these two spaces!

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The Henry Rosseau Forever – In this abstract winter garden, Mahdavi pays homage to Rousseau, the French post-impressionist painter known for his rich forest scenes. She does this by using rattan, a natural material she has always loved and has used in her designs for a long time. Here, she collaborates with some of the few remaining rattan artisans in Europe to create beautiful handmade chairs, masks and intricate rattan marquetry panels. Through the hands of the artisans, Mahdavi tells the story of her relationship with rattan, showing how this noble, traditional material can be transformed in new and sophisticated ways. These beautiful rattan creations are offset by a black and white mosaic floor, bespoke mirrors and dramatic lighting created especially for this exhibit by Italian master craftsmen. Together, the artisans in this space show how traditional skills can make a vital contribution to contemporary living.

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Mary-Go-Round – This contemporary upholstered living space in the shape of a rotunda draws on Mahdavi’s characteristic use of bold colour and her long history of working with master upholsterers. The walls feature exquisite embroidery made by a long-time collaborator, while the upholstery is so complex it can only be handmade by specialist artisans. Mahdavi pays homage to the exhibit’s beautiful setting in Venice by using Italian fabrics such as velvet and satin, and designing a typically vibrant colour scheme that evokes the sea. With its intricate handmade details, this space demonstrates the importance of the human hand in contemporary design, showing how fine craftsmanship gives added value to interiors in a way in which machines simply cannot.

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So here you go! One of the major exhibits of Homo Faber will feature the stunning ideas, imagination and creativity of India Mahdavi. Check out the Imaginary Architecture expo and be enchanted by its quality!

Credits – Homo Faber 2018

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