What is small? It depends… on us!
With this claim, the Mosaico + brand reflects on the meaning of minimum size, to reinterpret the mosaic in a pattern key
The theme of the small size, of which the mosaic tile is a paradigm, has always fascinated the architectural and design disciplines. From the piece of the famous lego, with which a 12-month-old baby starts making his first creations, up to the use of Grasshopper, a latest generation algorithmic modeling tool that is based on the definition of patterns to generate large-scale projects, the dialectic between micro and macro has always been at the center of the debate on the design process.
The examples are many. We have witnessed a transformation of the masterplan as an urban planning tool, in favor of increasingly punctual works that often generate unprecedented growth and full of value. Just think of the projects by Alejandro Aravena, Pritzker Price 2016 and curator of the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale, who with the defined program of ‘Incremental design’, starts from the project of a base cell to build entire neighborhoods in peripheral areas of Chile.
In this perspective, even design can be seen as a zoom in and zoom out process in which the macro is a map, a vision, while the micro is the world of precision and fine tuning. What makes the difference is the point of view. That can be subjective. Think of the pixel (and pixel art), or the cross stitch of an embroidery. When we move away the individual “elements” define an image that acquires meaning and sharpness at the right distance.
The mosaic is, par excellence, the design product that more than any other makes of macro-micro dialectics its field of action, the emblem of the challenge between the two dimensions.
“What is the small size for us?”. This is what the Mosaico + brand asked itself, in an attempt to detach itself from the principles of pure repetition or hyperdecorativism that are traceable in the history of mosaic, to probe unexplored fields. Overcoming the limits of decoration and image, in their hands the mosaic becomes a design tool, thanks to which they build a new language and a new vision of the surface. In the original idea of mosaic, the material is broken, reduced, smashed so that, by reassembling it, it can create a seamless surface, with the joint that no longer represents a fracture line, but that multiplied and incorporated into the texture returns in fact, a single area. Mosaico + experiences a wider and more contemporary meaning of the word mosaic, working on the concept of pattern.
Mosaic is every pattern in which what we perceive as small changes and gives continuity to the surface. With this in mind, the two Mosaico + Sticks and P-Saico lines are developed, projects that explore the expressive potential of children starting from an overview, a suggestion, a declaration of intent, and then studying the detail in the minimum aspect, from the grain, when cut to composition. The result are two dynamic collections, of great relevance, in which what we perceive (with an enlarged or narrow view with a magnifying lens) depends on us.
The designer Massimo Nadalini, Art Director of Mosaico +, worked on the Sticks project “by subtraction looking for elementary interventions that modified the perception of the final surface”. The macro view of the wall is completed with a pattern defined by different modules of material, in which the finishes and cuts multiply the possibilities of use and yield. The collection can be considered a system of material + texture + formats + colors that from small to large allows to customize each surface.
The initial idea of the designer, who posed it to himself as a visionary image, is made possible by the study of detail, a ‘base batten’ measuring 5×3 cm, that can be further sectioned into smaller sizes (1×3 cm and 1×10 cm) mounted on mesh, to create a completely modified surface compared to the initial one. Two slat variants, Smooth and Mix, in tones ranging from beige, to white, to gray to black, create different optical effects. With a very light texture the first, gives a smooth and manual mark to the material; with a mixture of 3 different textures the second, returns an almost random and vibrant sign, that does not stop us from approaching to steal, with hand and eyes, any imprinted shape.
The ‘slats’, boxed as loose pieces, can be used freely to compose infinite laying solutions. Furthermore, the use of porcelain stoneware as an extremely resistant material expands the traditional possibilities of the mosaic, making it suitable not only for indoor or outdoor wall applications, but also on the floor, for a perception of total contemporary space.
The new concept of P-Saico mosaic is born from Marialaura Rossiello’s vision for Studio Irvine: irregular, material and three-dimensional. In our imagination the mosaic has a regular and geometric pose in which the escape rarely varies in thickness, the P-Saico collection revolutionizes this idea, introducing regularity only to the rectangular shape of the tile applied to a completely irregular pose. The designer tells how the inspiration started from the study of Opus Incertum, a particular kind of composite masonry made of stone and mortar, used above all in Roman times, without a real facing, in which the laying and the surface create a ‘regular randomness’.
In P-Saico, the material was reduced to 1×3 cm fragments, that is as if they were instinctively and in an uncontrolled way ‘thrown’ on a surface. An effect that actually hides great study and calibration of quantities and distances. The tiles are in fact supplied pre-assembled on mesh (315×320 mm) and the modules are combined with a perfect joint giving visual continuity to the surface. The composition of the modules and the grouting give rise to a terrace revisited in a contemporary key, with a random effect laying and variable joint from 2mm to 6mm. Each tile has an irregular surface, that creates a three-dimensional material rendering. P-Saico is only available in the Mix variant, in which 3 different textures are mixed randomly to make the overall view even more dynamic and optical. P-Saico is also made of porcelain stoneware and therefore suitable to be used as floor.