Draga & Aurel, Rossana Orlandi Gallery | Credits: Riccardo Gasperoni
In the picture: TITO bed, JOY CIRCLE lamps, REVERSO room dividers.
Sensual, contradictory, and courageous: the 1970s was an era of extravagance and cross-fertilization when a boundless sense of life affected fashion, art, entertainment, and even the home environment. These are the years of exuberant creativity to which Draga & Aurel look to inspire Transparency Matters, a hybrid collection of handmade items, experimental ground, and a meeting point between art and design.

This year, the collection has expanded, with new items exuding an unequivocally Seventies mood presented for the first time during the Milan Design Week by RoCOLLECTIBLE 2022 in the Rossana Orlandi Gallery and characterized by surprising combinations of lines, colors, and materials. Completely new products, namely the Tito bed and the Beba armchair, feature smooth and sensual volumes and mark the addition of upholstered furniture to Transparency Matters, alongside evolutions of the collection’s iconic products, Joy, Golia, and Rive.

Among other things, Draga & Aurel have studied and reinterpreted the great masters of those years, who redefined the way design was conceived and carried out. “We’ve always looked to that era with great interest and curiosity. The design, art, fashion, photography, and architecture that developed during the 1970s were a symbol of change, experimentation, and cross-fertilization. We’ve retrieved and appropriated this whirlwind of creativity, wanting to bring it back to life with our aesthetic and our artistic approach to design”, say Draga Obradovic and Aurel K. Basedow.

Draga & Aurel, Rossana Orlandi Gallery | Credits: Riccardo Gasperoni
In the picture: BEBA armchair, JOY lamps, VERTIGO boiserie.
The sinuous geometry and bold contours of great designers, such as Alessandro Becchi and Mario Bellini, inspired the TITO bed, with its voluptuous, smooth, and — at the same time —monumental silhouette. The cylindrical base and headboard appear to embrace and this sensation is further emphasized by the Mara fabric upholstery by Marzotto Interiors, a long-pile velvet with a fur effect. The contrasting details give the bed an aspect of magnificence, from the shiny bronze selected for the built-in retractable nightstand to the resin ton-sur-ton feet.

Loosely inspired by Joe Colombo’s Elda, the BEBA armchair looks like a water lily. The Seventies-style body is made from fiberglass with a velvety matte finish. The contrasting black edge adds character and emphasizes the curves: a sartorial detail inspired by haute couture corsets— the utmost expression of femininity. The combination of two upholstery velvets by Marzotto Interiors with different thicknesses (for the backrest, Belfast short-pile cotton velvet; for the seat cushion, Mara, a fur-effect acrylic velvet, or Alpaca, a velvet made from fine alpaca wool, both long-pile) intensifies its softness.

A round version, JOY Circle, of the luminous Joy capsules is proposed. This wall lamp places all the emphasis on color: crafted in layers, the resin discloses its infinite shades and ignites with the neon light for a pop and almost psychedelic effect.

Draga & Aurel, Rossana Orlandi Gallery | Credits: Riccardo Gasperoni
In the picture: GOLIA Lunch table and coffee tables, RIVE armchair, HERITAGE chair.
The GOLIA Lunch dining table expands the collection of concrete and resin coffee tables launched last September at the Rossana Orlandi Gallery. Inspired by a neo-brutalist aesthetic, Golia juxtaposes the transparency of the colored resin and the solidity of the concrete surface-treated with sea salt, which brings the material to life by accentuating its roughness.

Concrete also plays the leading role in the RIVE armchair and stool, an evolution of the bench with the same name that is already part of the Transparency Matters collection. Cast in custom-made molds and treated with the corrosive effect of sea salt, the cement becomes the bearing structure of this armchair and stool. For the seat upholstery, Draga & Aurel chose RUGMATE rugs, in support of a company that arose from a desire to give employment and a new opportunity to Syrian refugee women in Turkey. The fabrics used are salvaged from production scraps, thus giving new life to something that would otherwise have been lost.

At the Rossana Orlandi Gallery, Draga & Aurel also present other Transparency Matters pieces, including REVERSO partitions, available in new colors, as well as some one-off items from the HERITAGE collection.

In the work of Draga & Aurel, the boundary between art and design is thin. To underscore a journey increasingly characterized by the fusion of these two realms, the works of Aurel K. Basedow themselves become protagonists of the installation. With a mirror-like effect, the resin surfaces of the paintings reflect the surrounding space and the design items, almost taking possession of them, and imbuing them with new meaning.

Written by giovanni47