Image courtesy of the Galerie Philia

Future Relics

 

Future Relics is an ambitious research-led program that brings together world-class designers to respond to the rich cultural, material and documentary heritage of Medici Florence. In partnership with the Medici Archive Project and Galerie Philia, designers will explore the concept of “future relics” from the vast archival holdings of Renaissance Florence. This initiative will stimulate designers to engage with the material culture of Medici Florence, increasingly diverse thanks to the city’s flourishing global networks and exchange mechanisms, to delve into the superb craftsmanship of the local guilds and artisans in the creation of luxury objects and works of art, as well as the confluence of various techniques, materials, and styles. However, future relics entail a daunting paradox. Drawing inspiration from Renaissance Florence, the project pushes the designers to explore the tensions between past, present and future, and to create contemporary relics in a language that is at once personal and universal, local and global, material and symbolic, secular and divine.

 

The Designers

Andrés Monnier is a Mexican artist born in Guadalajara and is based in Ensenada. The artist is dedicated to crafting sculptural pieces that convey narratives through the harmonious blend of art, design, and sculpture.

Establishing his studio in 2017, Monnier collaborates with a dedicated team to bring forth unique creations using a diverse array of materials such as rock, glass, concrete, wood, and metal. In 2020, he embarked on the creation of his inaugural collection predominantly featuring rock as his signature material. In 2021, having studied medicine and industrial engineering, Monnier transitioned into the role of an emerging artist, launching his first exhibition titled “Olympo.” This exhibition, inspired by Greek mythology, showcased 17 pieces from his initial collection. n the same year, Monnier entered into a partnership with Galerie Philia, an esteemed international contemporary art gallery.

Motivated by a desire to innovate within the realm of conventional furniture, Andrés Monnier explores various techniques and creative languages. A self-taught sculptor, his aspiration is to fashion and design a universe of distinctive pieces.

 

Elsa Foulon, is a Parisian designer who was introduced to the world of art by her father, a dealer in 20th-century decorative arts. Her affinity for this era, rich in creative expressions, has always been a part of her personal aesthetic. From this rich source of inspiration, her lighting fixtures stand out as sculptural creations, combining her artistic talent and technical skills as a designer.

Foulon, a self-taught artist in her thirties, creates ambitious large artworks that may seem unusual for her chosen medium. To achieve these impressive volumes while maintaining the delicate nature of her organic structures, she has developed her own plate technique and materials.

Beyond the precision of her processes and her mastery of the subject, Elsa finds fascination in the seclusion of her Parisian studio. Here, the beauty lies in the ancestral gesture—the extended interval between conception and realization, rendering each creation truly unique. The capricious nature of the fire shapes her luminous works, imbuing them with an unpredictability that contributes a nuanced sensitivity to contemporary design.

Ultimately, it is the concealed light within her sculptures that delicately unveils the raw beauty of the clay, offering a subtle revelation of its inherent textures.

 

Kar, was established in 2020 by Steven Yeung. The studio merges the essence of oriental wabi-sabi with a contemporary aesthetic, skillfully integrating the traditional Chinese lacquer method.

Operating under the brand name “Kar,” the studio subtly nods to the internal exploration of the oriental philosophy of “Karma,” drawing inspiration from the forces of time, nature, and interpersonal connections. Kar expresses their perspective on beauty and values through the physical representations of furniture, spaces, objects, and lifestyles. In the creative process, the studio embraces causality and evokes emotions, steadily progressing towards the essence and truth of all things.

Reviving traditions, Kar aims to create an artistic language that connects the past and resonates with the present. Despite its rustic appearance, the studio is dedicated to achieving intricate textures and perfecting the art of craftsmanship. It reveals a powerful inner energy while gracefully balancing life and art.

 

Laura Pasquino, is a ceramic artist based in Amsterdam. With an international background in her craft, she honed her skills in ceramic art in Kyoto, Japan, and Lisbon, Portugal before establishing her studio in The Netherlands.

Focusing on spherical forms, Laura passionately channels her creativity into a range of works, spanning functional vessels to sculptures. Her artistic vision draws inspiration from the dynamic forces and formations found in the natural world. Embracing the inherent versatility of the material, Pasquino’s creations capture the spontaneity and tactile qualities unique to each piece. In her pursuit of simplicity and balance, she accentuates their character through earthy colors and textures.

Pasquino seamlessly combines her artistic work for exhibitions and installations with creating commissioned pieces designed for architectural spaces, interior design projects, and collaborations with specific brands.

 

Morghen, composed of Roberto Tarter and Rodolfo Viola, is a multidisciplinary milanese studio. The studio represents a blend of traditional and contemporary creativity, combining design, art, and craftsmanship. Their creations seamlessly blend artisanal heritage, experimental techniques, and modern materials, rooted in thorough technical and formal research.

Their design philosophy is centered around a dynamic balance between innovative technologies and an engaging formal language. Morghen’s design process unfolds in a continuous dialogue with space and users, each piece encouraging a subtle interaction that unveils its unique energy and essence.

Every creation is carefully planned, developed, and handcrafted in a renovated carpenter’s workshop located in Milan’s Bovisa district. Evolving from a foundation of both theoretical and practical research, every creation stands as a testament to individuality. Morghen’s extensive portfolio includes objects, furniture, lighting, and spatial designs, demonstrating a commitment to innovation while maintaining the inherent charm of traditional craftsmanship.

 

Pierre De Valck,  born in Brussels and is currently based in Ghent, is a designer whose creative journey is rooted in a childhood fascination for archaeology and a penchant for collecting historical artifacts.

His design philosophy focuses on capturing the deep forces of ancient geological processes in a modern aesthetic. De Valk furniture emerges as modern antiquities, offering a medium through which we can reconnect with our ancestral past.

The inaugural series, aptly named “Pieces with Stone,” showcases furniture adorned with manually encrusted precious stones and crystals of exceptional historical value. By preserving these minerals in their natural state, Pierre goes beyond just functionality, turning each piece into a unique and authentic representation of our shared collective memory.

From the rolling hills of the Ardennes to the mines of Afghanistan, Pierre De Valck’s designs invite us to rediscover ancient stories, capturing millions of years of wisdom through the unaltered beauty of these raw mineral jewels.

 

Karuan acclaimed design studio, specializes in creating unique architectural environments, custom furniture, and objects, all centered around fostering a profound sense of wellbeing. Guided by the diverse cultural background and extensive expertise of its founder, Mélanie Murata, Karu translates timeless architectural forms into contemporary, harmonious experiences.

Rooted in Murata’s multicultural heritage, the name “Karu” comes from the Incan Quechua language, symbolizing the concept of traveling to distant lands. This sentiment not only reflects Murata’s personal heritage but also mirrors the trajectory of her illustrious career.

Karu is a fusion of South American spirit, American drive, Mediterranean fervor, and Asian precision. Mélanie Murata, born in Peru, raised in Naples, Florida, and trained in Italy, has traveled around the world, living in cities such as Milan, Los Angeles, Florence, and Tokyo. Drawing inspiration from this rich tapestry of experiences, Murata effortlessly incorporates different cultural influences into clear concepts, which she carefully brings to life with unwavering precision and high standards.