Johan Viladrich


Department: Man and Well being


Ferramenta – Hardware store
Piazza Morbegno, 5

What if a piece of furniture owes its physical form to the anonymous, globalised standards of industry, rather than to its individual designer’s ideas about style and fashion? With Ratio, Johan Viladrich attempts to find out. “I want to discover how far I can take my ‘no-style-no-drawing’ approach,” he says. The result? “Objects that speak for themselves, and exist on their own terms. Not because I shaped them, but because it is almost a necessity for them to exist.”

In contrast to the Milanese invasion of attention-seeking furniture trends, Viladrich’s approach looks into the archetypes of product design and manufacture. His shelves, tables, and benches use a language of basic elements that could be made almost anywhere in the global supply chain. Stripped of all unnecessary frills, the Ratio collection relies on the search for fundamental expression, re-using widely available materials and basic connection methods as the basis for a flexible and adaptive furniture design system.

In Milan, Ratio is to be found at the local hardware store in Piazza Morbegno. This venue is a new kind of exhibition space, showing the connection between the designed furniture and the standardised components on sale. It also throws a new light on Viladrich's graduation project. “I read that the neighborhood had seen a high level of immigration,” he says. “I think my assemblages relate to the speed and energy of the local community — they may seem improvised, but they are really the most basic constructions because they rely on what is most available.”

Copyright Design Academy Eindhoven

Copyright: Design Academy Eindhoven
Photograph(s): Ronald Smits
Venu Photograph(s): Nicole Marinati