A moulded and perforated modular object that may serve as a decorative partition, characterized by its strong three-dimensional charm, obtained through diamond-wire cutting without any handcraft processing and with the utmost attention to sustainability.
“The ancient and fascinating Michelangelesque concept of liberating an intrinsic figure from a block of marble should undergo a re-thinking process in light of a period of intense consumption of materials and the raised collective sensitivity towards their use”, explains Raffaello Galiotto. “The Retina project is based on this principle and on the study of the shape-related possibilities that technology allows according to reduced waste”.
Retina than gives material expression to some values that are fundamental to Lithos Design: creativity displayed through and enhanced by technology, complete industrialisation, environment-friendly production processes oriented to energy saving and waste reduction.
In the creation of Retina, the first step was to design the 3D software that would guide the machine and direct its diamond-wire in cutting and moulding the stone, with a dual aim: to achieve the final surface look with no additional finishing work, and to contain waste. Planning the cutting path is then a vital part of the creative act which, while remaining creative, is all the same tied to precise geometric rules. Therefore, the block of marble is submitted to a series of sequential cuts, overlapping, crossing and undulated, in order to obtain the desired shape and multiply it after each cut; this generates the several modules to be assembled in order to compose the object. The resulting three-dimensional form consisting of voids and blocks, the different facets, the perforations, the satin surface finishing and the limitless extensibility of Retina – all this is achieved just by repeating a single, well-studied cutting path, and realized through an automated process using diamond-wire cutting technology.
The Retina work was first presented at the University of Milan within the ‘Digital Lithic Design’ exhibition, an installation of experimental objects created in 2015 by Raffaello Galiotto, who was both the curator and the designer of all the displayed works. The exhibit aimed to put a spotlight on the Italian stone manufacturing sector and on its excellence, enhancing its peculiar characteristics, such as the profound knowledge of materials and of cutting-edge production methods. At the same time, through these works the installation aimed to increase awareness about some factors that, indeed, have become vital to enhance the appeal and value of natural stone, such as a sensible use of the material, or the reduction of waste and energy consumption. ‘Digital Lithic Design’ was created for Interni magazine and its ‘Energy for Creativity’ event, an open-air design show displayed in different locations in Milan from the start of the Design Week until the opening of EXPO.