The story of Minuetto
March 18, 2020
Design means creating wonder!
Great surprise at the birth of Duetto in the nineties.
Like the egg of Columbus, all speechless today in front of Minuetto.
The new product branded Plinio il Giovane is the result of careful research, precise calculations and, above all, the experience gained in the historic carpentry shop by Francesco Ippoliti, part of the new generation of the famous brand founded in Milan by Mario Prandina in 1975.
Nobody thought about it yet!
Link between the various models already present in the historical collection, Minuetto synthesizes in its shapes characteristics of transformable as Duet and Eclectic, in particular versatility, lightness, minimal lines and the game of joints, As usual, hand made.
The two twin solid oak structures, together with the Biogreen cushions, can be easily rearranged, thus transforming Minuetto from armchair, to pouf, up to practical single bed.
My name is Francesco and today I’ll tell you the story of Minuetto, a small project born as a joke on a paper placemat.
It’s been more than ten years now that, between studies and work experience, I dedicate my life to the design of spaces and products but, even today, I often miss the true meaning of the concept of “design.”
The use of this term, in the modern sense, dates back exactly a century ago and has its roots in the Bauhaus school of art and architecture. The birth of this current seems to immortalize the meaning of the idea of design, thus setting it between the concept of art and that of technique. Since then many have provided their personal interpretation, thus defining always different aspects, including several times appear fixed ideas to principles such as those of the collaboration, the concrete response to real needs and innovation, understood as an exaltation of human capabilities in respect of the environment and production systems.
It’s been three years since my story crossed with Plinio il Giovane.
Right from the start I realized that this brand, through the ideas promoted by the founder Mario Prandina and then made by the expert hands of the artisans of Brianza, speaks to the world of “design” with its own language, unique and inimitable.
My place is there, among the carpentry, polishers, upholsterers and many other masters who with their hands give life to unmistakable creations compared to those of many other industries.
Doing design by Plinio il Giovane means therefore creating wonder, without appealing to precious materials or innovative technologies, but enhancing the nobility of natural raw materials carefully selected and made valuable by the meticulous craft of Italian workers.
From the first day in production, which I still remember as it was yesterday, I spent a lot of time studying the clean lines of Mario’s drawings, the proportions between the individual elements, the attention to detail studied first on a technician and then made alive by craftsmen whose hands tell the wisdom and passions of past generations.
My days go by so to admire the careful work of these people, more than to supervise it, and also the free moments spend with pleasure, while I get lost imagining what else can become the leg of an Eclettica, the back of a chair or the simple rod of a totem.
It was looking at one of Alberto’s moulds, our turner, that last year I imagined my first real product, the Ada lamp. A simple aluminium cone, turned by hand and now available among our lampshades, became a luminous sculpture to be installed on the wall, composed of a slender stem, a practical support surface and a precise and discreet light source.
The challenge, this time, was to think of a product in line with the style and philosophy of the furniture by Plinio il Giovane, but at the same time able to offer a new solution or an alternative to the furniture in the current collection.
It all started a bit for fun, during a frugal lunch with Daniel, one of the carpenters who collaborate with us.
The idea was to think of a new convertible, a compact sofa bed, light and practical, useful to furnish in a small space.
At hand only a paper placemat and a pen, what was enough to draw the first lines of the profile of Minuetto, a sofa bed that, meanwhile, had reduced so much to become a sofa bed!
The shapes, the same of the mythical Duetto, the even more compact dimensions of the inimitable Eclectic.
The solid oak base, assembled by tenons and precise dovetail joints, is composed of two twin structures, arranged one on the other. Their lightness makes it possible to transform the armchair into a practical single bed by simply turning the upper section and rearranging the seat and back cushions. In the same way, you can also use the two structures separately, thus creating two independent poufs.
The new Minuetto will be officially presented at the next Salone del Mobile di Milano 2020 but the first prototype is already present in our showroom and can also be pre-ordered online.
So this is also “design”: observing, listening, exaggerating, reinventing.
Not always the story of a new product begins with a blank sheet.
Sometimes it’s born on a plaid placemat.