Set up by Benetton in Treviso, Italy in 1994 as a communication research center, Fabrica describes itself as "an applied creativity laboratory [and] talent incubator." If you were at Salone de Mobile earlier this year, you may have seen their impressive presentation for which they asked designers to create 25 objects inspired by the 1930s-era Villa Necchi in Milan. Fabrica is consistently generating good work. Most recently they staged a live performance by Sam Baron in the windows of the Sisley store in Piazza san Babila and created a line of seven outdoor furniture products for an event at the Milano Scala Hotel.
Fabrica has a proven eye not only for remarkably beautiful and minimal design, but also for color. Take "Objet Colore," a system of store display fittings for Benetton's retail locations. All the pieces are modular and customizable so they can be used in any store around the world. And like the company's full title ("United Colors of...") suggests, the items are bright, bold and lively blocks of green, red, yellow and blue.
Another collection exhibited as part of their presentation at Salone del Mobile that's worth calling attention to is their limited edition collection of glassware for Secondome gallery. Eight pieces by seven designers include vases, vessels and more unusual pieces like Catarina Carreiras' "Necklaces," a set of two to three vases strung together like gem stones on a gold chain. The pieces can be hung on a wall or set on a table. The most successful pieces in the collection—in my opinion—are by Scottish designer Dean Brown. His "Uplifting" series of carafes for chianti, prosecco, balsamic vinegar and olive oil (his specifications, not mine) create the illusion of suspended animation. The larger carafes operate as normal, with a handle, while the oil and vinegar vessels are set into a larger glass stand and lifted with a smaller, looped handle.
Keep tabs on the other exciting projects coming out of Fabrica, including two short films and a calendar/yearbook. You can also apply to be part of their creative design incubator.