Marble design objects and products are born from thorough research: after the end of the successful exhibition ‘Digital Lithic Design‘, created for the University of Milan and Interni magazine, the curator and designer Raffaello Galiotto explains the concept and goals of the work Retina, realized by Lithos Design.
“The ancient and fascinating Michelangelesque concept of chipping away at a block of marble in order to expose the intrinsic figure within should be reconsidered today in the light of a period of intense consumption of materials and a growing collective awareness as to their use. The Retina project stems from this principle and from the study of the formal possibilities that technology grants us according to a reduction in waste.
In this case, by the use of 3D software the designer devises the figure at the same time as its negative, or more specifically according to a twinship criterion whereby the distinction between figure and negative no longer exists and has been replaced by a distinction between figure and figure, which are separated by a three-dimensional cut surface aimed to divide them. Indeed, it is on the design of the cutting mark that the creative act focuses, tied and limited by specific geometrical rules that determine its feasibility. The block of marble is therefore cut repeatedly by the numerically-controlled machine and only in the end, during the phase when the individual figures are separated, does the end result appear: the object and its indistinctly plied multiples.
Specifically, Retina is a modular and permeable partition element, marked by a strong three-dimensional appeal. This result is due to a sequence of undulated, criss-crossing and overlapping cutting paths which generate three-dimensional surfaces, perforations and lastly the reticular faceted volume, all this with the use of diamond-wire cutting technology alone. Lastly, the beguiling satin finish surface is achieved automatically by the cutting itself, which is performed by the sliding of the abrasive diamond-bead wire along it.”