Dirty Toys

Dirty toys


Notes for A+D FORUM

When we were little, my sisters and I had a game we would play with my Dad where we would go around the neighborhood, or outside construction sites, or around the garden and find little items like bolts or screws or scrap of metal and wood and bring them home and make things with them.  

Barbie furniture or sculptures, things like that.

The game got dubbed “Dirty Toys”. It instilled in me an appreciation for the abstract sculptural qualities of random industrial components, as well as an appreciation for scraps of things: devoid of context and often deformed by ruin, or un-finishedness.  

It also gave me, like many architects and designers, a life-long passion for hardware stores.

I cannot pass by a shiny or rusted bolt in the street without a slight feeling of found treasure. Same with the bins of clips and bolts at Builders Supply.

In my day-job, I design for Italian industries like Flos, Boffi or Glas Italia. And I design limited edition and custom lights, furniture and interiors for galleries and patrons. In this world, everything is made to millimeter specification and precision. Everything is custom.

For the Workshop I wanted to try to go back to the source of my own fairly abstract, architectural design language. Basically, I wanted to play again- making lights from Dirty Toys, the found or scavenged forms, hardware store industrial components- and let the existing sculptural qualities of these “found” things determine the design of the light.

The objective here is not to give praise to the Simpson tie or pipe fitting, but to use these pieces as abstract sculptural forms that are transformed into something else, hopefully not recognizable at all.