STU­DIO GAMFRATESI

FLAW­LESSLY FUS­ING TWO CUL­TURAL AES­THET­ICS INTO THEIR WORK, DE­SIGN DUO STINE GAM AND EN­RICO FRATESI FIND IN­TI­MACY IN BOTH LIFE AND THEIR ART.

VOGUE Living Australia - - Contents - By MARTINA HUNGLINGER Pho­tographed by MADS MOGENSEN

Fus­ing two cul­tural aes­thet­ics, de­sign duo Stine Gam and En­rico Fratesi find in­ti­macy in both life and their art

ANY QUARRELLING BE­TWEEN de­sign’s most fa­mous cou­ple, Charles and Ray Eames, slipped un­der the radar, but con­tem­po­rary de­sign cou­ple Stine Gam and En­rico Fratesi con­sider a healthy de­bate in­te­gral to the suc­cess of their GamFratesi stu­dio. Cu­rat­ing two suc­ces­sive Mind­craft exhibitions on Dan­ish de­sign at Salone del Mo­bile in Mi­lan, the Dan­ish-Ital­ian cou­ple have built an in­ter­na­tional rep­u­ta­tion over the past 10 years that has won them such col­lab­o­ra­tors as Porro, Ge­brüder Thonet Vi­enna and Cap­pellini. Based in Copen­hagen, Gam (Dan­ish) and Fratesi (Ital­ian) each rep­re­sent the ar­che­typal cre­ative ap­proach of their re­spec­tive cul­ture. Their coun­tries are equally fa­mous for de­sign but at ei­ther end of the aes­thetic and philo­soph­i­cal spec­trum. On the Ital­ian side, Leonardo da Vinci’s bench­mark means de­sign is not great un­less it’s in­tel­lec­tual and in­no­va­tive. In Den­mark, de­sign is never great if it doesn’t func­tion. “When we start work on a project, there’s al­ways a very strong con­cept or ide­ol­ogy be­hind it,” says Fratesi. “That re­flects the Ital­ian at­ti­tude to de­sign.” So why do their prod­ucts look so Dan­ish? “Be­cause of our at­ten­tion to func­tion and ma­te­rial when we come to de­vel­op­ing the prod­uct,” Gam ex­plains. What­ever the for­mula, the chem­istry works. So­lu­tions dur­ing a prod­uct’s de­vel­op­ment can in­volve “much ar­gu­ing — in the best sense — and lively dis­cus­sion”, but their in­ti­macy sets them apart. “We make in­ti­macy a key part of our work, where our so­fas or desks al­most em­brace you,” says Fratesi, point­ing to the small Ligne Roset desk with its cra­dle-shaped hood. “We think there should be com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the prod­uct and user, as love and ap­pre­ci­a­tion of an ob­ject will not only give plea­sure but also — if it is kept for the long term — be sus­tain­able.” The de­sign­ers be­lieve they too should ‘love’ the ob­jects they make — Gep­pet­tos to their Pinoc­chio prod­ucts. They’ve been known to aban­don ideas well into pro­duc­tion if they’re not feel­ing the love. Gam and Fratesi met in 2004 while study­ing ar­chi­tec­ture in Italy, set­ting up two years later in Copen­hagen. They re­cently moved into their new stu­dio near the city cen­tre. Light streams in through the large win­dows and is mir­rored by the white walls and clean, or­dered dis­plays of pro­to­types and ma­te­ri­als. The stu­dio is sparsely staffed, and the pair likes it that way. In­ti­macy is, af­ter all, their point of dif­fer­ence. The res­o­lu­tion of love af­ter any dis­agree­ments makes it all worth­while. Visit gamfratesi.com.

“We make in­ti­macy a key part of our work, where our so­fas or desks al­most em­brace you” —En­rico Fratesi

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