Italian architect Giorgio Caporaso marries form, function and sustainability in furniture design with his innovative use of recycled and recyclable cardboard. His “Sogni di Cartone” (Dreams of Cardboard) solo exhibition at Milan Design Week demonstrated how an unusual contamination of honeycombed cardboard with natural rustic materials like wood, stone and lichens, can come together to create unique sensory pieces that celebrate contrast and surface textures.
While Caporaso’s designs demonstrate how these unusual blends of natural materials can work in aesthetic harmony with one another, the simple structural makeup of his work allows elements to be easily and deliberately deconstructed and removed – whether for repairing, recycling or to change the ‘skin’ of the furniture to follow mood or the latest design trend.
His More Light, for example, shows how a simple, modular cube can be built up to create a more individual, complex and visually striking structure. Each base unit is made of cardboard but is completely customisable – it has interchangeable facades and back panels made of wood, stone, personalised printed cardboard or vibrantly coloured lichens.
Caporaso’s Tappo table embodies the very same design principles with its facility to have multiple interchangeable surfaces, and likewise combines beauty and sustainability with practicality. While its integrated light source gives its surrounding environment an atmospheric ambience, the removable opaque top reveals a spacious cavity for convenient storage.
The modular composition of Caporaso’s design, which has become almost a signature of his work, is once more put to play in his X2 chaise longue chair. Beautifully made from cardboard and elegantly defined by smooth clean lines, it has removable side panels in a number of finishes, and uses just half the material required to make a similar chair in solid cardboard. With an uncompromisingly strong structure, the piece can equally be flipped over and used as a high-backed chair, and its large inbuilt holes used for storage if desired.
When it comes to melding form, function and sustainability in aesthetic design, Giorgio Caporaso ticks all the right boxes with these versatile, useful pieces of art.