The architect and founder of Milan-based Cappellini expounds on why he released one of his company’s biggestselling products in a new medium
What motivated you to reimagine the Bouroullecs’ iconic Cloud bookshelf in wood this year? We wanted to give this icon – first produced in 2004 – a new image. So instead of presenting a new product by the Bouroullecs, we decided to try a new material. Using wood instead of plastic allowed us to redefine the piece and also to demonstrate the ability of Italian craftsmanship.
How did the manufacturing process differ? The process is very different. Cloud in recycled plastic is an industrial piece, created by machine. In wood, it’s an artisanal product, done by hand. The production process [for the latter] is very sophisticated and difficult: Only a few pieces can be produced per month since everything is handcrafted. By contrast, we can produce hundreds of pieces in a month of the recycled-plastic version.
What kind of wood is used to make the new Cloud? We use two different woods: ash and rosewood.
What do you feel the new medium adds to the original design? It reinforces how good it was. The fact that the same shape can be rendered with two different materials so consistently yet uniquely shows how flexible the original design was and also the flexibility of good design generally.