by agnes s.
Veasyble by GAIA is an awesome collaborative project that focuses on designing work based around notions of isolation, intimacy, and ornamentation. The group consists of Gloria Pizzilli (Illustrator), Arianna Petrakis (Product and Interior Designer), Ilaria Pacini (singer), and Adele Bacci (performer). Their goal is to design beautiful ornaments to be worn publicly. The philosophical connotations related to this project are very interesting – public intimacy sounds a bit backwards. There is surely more that could be explored on the oxymoronic topic. In a day and age where people are forced to stay in the public eye and privacy has become less available, this project seems a lot more sociologically applicable. Still, an odd concept.
What was the process of conceptually developing such project? Did you ladies sit down over coffee and discuss the notions of isolation, intimacy, and ornamentation? How does a project like this comes about?
A project like this comes to life almost as a joke. When a design group gets together for the designing pleasure, you never know what is for real and what is just for fun, how many words, over coffee or between phone calls, are to take seriously and how many are to reject up front and, above all, when it will all come together. To start with, we put ideas, books, thoughts on the table, and we take a look at colleagues’ and artists’ work. This is the inspirational part, the most fun and most inconstant, which serves to bring the intervention point into focus. After this part comes the design challenge, the research for techniques and solutions to keep faith with the established concept. To have an idea is relatively simple, to make it real is more difficult. The workshop starts here: technical and material research, structural tests and shaping experiments will follow tirelessly one after the other to become Veasyble, the project you know.
The accessories are quite provocative and interesting, but the pieces in isolation are a direct discourse on our social complexity. Can you talk to us about how we can relate to these isolation episodes?
Veasyble. Unfold a beautiful intimacy is a set of objects ready to use to create intimacy any time, any place, on various levels. Our aim was to put emphasis on a frequent mood: ignoring others, isolating ourselves when we feel out of sorts with the environment, searching for intimacy where it seems impossible. Veasyble is a forceful exhibition of our personality. Like every accessory, it carries a powerful aesthetic message, a barrier that is a dominant aesthetic of privacy
I couldn’t help thinking of Elizabethan ‘ruffs’ when I first saw Veasyble, was there any inspiration to this or other historical periods?
The reference you notice is not accidental, on the contrary, the sixteenth-century ruffs greatly influenced our creative process. The folding pattern, which sets up our ruff, was designed after a series of folding experiments and it was immediately returned to the appropriate scale to refer to this historical period. The Veasyble ruff is a self-structuring helix, which binds the neck without choking. A modulating object of which you can adjust height and diameter. It follows your mood transforming itself, like the plumage of a bird, which can puff up its feathers. The entire set moves from the same presuppositions and was designed to transform, but the ruff is, definitely, the most wearable and fascinating object.