AmniosyA won the very first i.materialise ‘Designer of the Year’ Award. We asked Elvira Perfetto, one of the collective's cofounder, to tell us a bit about their work.
Novedge: Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do
Elvira Perfetto: My name is Elvira Perfetto, I'm the second one from left in the picture below, and I’m an Italian architect. I graduated in Architecture from the University of Florence. During my studies, I started focusing on digital design, experimenting in my design. After my Bachelor's and during my Masters, I assisted in my Interior Design course and at the same time I continued my research and experimentation thanks to my study experience at the Angewandte in Wien.
In 2011 I cofounded AmniosyA with Marco Carratelli, Lucia Lunghi, Leonardo Pilati e Lorenzo Pianigiani. AmniosyA is an architectural studio essentially based on research between different disciplines such as art, physics and architecture. We love the interaction and contamination of topics, and we always try to push boundaries between disciplines in order to investigate new architectural possibilities and configurations.
We also work in the field of design and fashion design mostly linked to 3D printing technology.
Novedge: What matters most to you in design?
Elvira Perfetto: I think design is one of the most complex experiences made by people and for people. Design involves emotions, hopes, vision, history and progress. The changes that we observe in design are the results of complex human phenomena strongly connected to evolution. We have been pushing the boundaries between nature and technology for years, exploring new possibilities, and the same seems to happen in all other disciplines that affect our lives.
My main process in design is experimentation, I like to detach from everything that architecture is supposed to be and look like, including preconceived forms, to look into new architectural and design possibilities. An architecture that emerges from mathematical processes and new material explorations and that proposes something new, still to be determined.
Novedge: What is the vision behind AmniosyA? Where does the name come from?
Elvira Perfetto: AmniosyA began as a research group in the fields of architecture, design and fashion design. Basically, after developing an individual research path during our studies, we decided, thanks to Professor Marino Moretti, of co-founding a team. We all shared a need to listen to our creativity, passions and the idea of joining our minds to produce powerful energy. Our research is focused on the world of new technologies, on dynamic simulations used for generating shapes and spaces inspired by unexpected suggestions, by biology as well as scientific studies. Architecture, design, and fashion design are fields through which we can create alternative forms and design methods. Our studio's ongoing research focuses on the transference of digital process into contemporary design.
We truly believe that the boundaries of what we consider "traditional disciplines" are starting to blur and we operate in an "in-between" space.
This idea is the vision behind the team as well as the meaning of the name: AmniosyA comes from the “amniotic liquid”, a place where new things interact and are finally born, an incubator for ideas and emotions.
Novedge: What is your approach to collaboration and team work?
Elvira Perfetto: Every new project is a good starting point for discussion, research and experimentation. We don't have precise rules in our team, we have an high level of interaction so every project is more or less a result of five minds. In general, each of us breaks all the rules and this makes having a standard approach to collaboration impossible.
Novedge: What is a recent project that you worked on?
Elvira Perfetto: All of our projects are about developing suggestive three-dimensional experiences at different scales through the same creative process. Architecture and fashion are the most powerful areas of creative expression, they are both informed by art as well as by three-dimensional concepts, since both generate space and interact with it.
Some of the recent projects we worked on, except design competitions, are about 3D printed fashion design collections. We are working on a new silver collection, wearable sculptures inspired by dinamic reactions, interacting with EntropyA's philosophy.
EntropyA is another recent project which is a 3D printed combo collection, featuring a necklace, a ring, and a bangle, made with black polyamide. The idea comes from a dynamic fluid simulation, in which a planar surface is altered by the energy generated by the the physical system, up to the achievement of an harmonic-formal shape.
The surface of the pieces gives indeed the impression they are made not with a solid but with a fluid material that splashes and ripples around the neck and the arm of the wearer, simulating fluid effects caused by variables such as velocity, temperature and density.
Another design project we are still working on is the Levity light.
Levity is a 3D printed lamp with a design that comes from the dynamic simulation of "beams of light" which, starting from the ground, are dissolved upwards generating a pattern of light and evanescent fibers suspended from the ground. It represents the precise instant in which, during a jump, you're suspended on the ground.
Elvira Perfetto: We constantly use different software, depending on what we are working on. I can say that the main software we use is Autodesk Maya: we use it for animations, dynamic simulations, visual effects, as well as as a modeling tool. We essentially love its great potential for a creative workflow.
We also usually work with Rhinoceros and Grasshopper for technical details, parametric structures, 2D visualizations and so on. Anyway, for some other projects we worked on Arduino in order to study component movement and agent behaviour on mesh surfaces as well as in the virtual space.
Novedge: What's next for you?
Elvira Perfetto: We have several ongoing projects in the works, probably the most interesting one is about the evolution of our studies on movement.