My Life

Byblos x Mattia Festa

By: Roman Kozak

Every year Milan plays host to design week, also known as FuoriSalone.  To give you an understanding FuoriSalone is arguably the best interior design festival in the world.

This season I decided to pass via Della Spiga, one of the wealthiest streets in Milan, to see how fashion design boutiques would showcase collaborations with interior designers. On my stroll I heard loud bits of music coming from one of the stores; as I drew closer I realized – that’s the Byblos cocktail party!

One show of my press pass and I was in.

There were so many people, but fortunately I found a way to speak to young designer and graphic illustrator Mattia Festa. Mattia happened to be the artist Byblos collaborated with on this year’s FuoriSalone.

Shortly into the conversation Mattia began to tell me that he was impressed by Manuel Faschini, the creative director of Byblos, and his last fashion show. Festa was hit by the graphic, geometric compositions and the pattern used by Byblos. Their mutual admiration was the catalyst for this collaboration.

“In architecture as in graphics I’ve been always fascinated by the geometric square shapes because I considered them as the most interesting to be developed and used for the realization of a project” – Mattia  told me. And that’s why he was inspired by Byblos’style of clothes – they clearly represent his style as well.

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Roman Kozak (left) and Mattia Festa at FuoriSalone 2016

As I looked at the interior design pieces by Mattia I could see that even the study and the prototype for the lamp LIGHT RAY was nothing more than the development of a pattern: a geometric shape that you could repeat endlessly; channeled by light that spreads the geometric image.

The metal pieces presented at the event were really contemporary and futuristic… But there is already a question circulating- are they comfortable for everyday use? I mean, is it more like an art project than a commercial one? In Festa’s opinion, today design is more “formal” and design is more like works of art than products for everyday use. His works he considers as both types, for example the “B” of Byblos definitely is the iconic sculpture that refers to the brand.

“B” Byblos chair designed in collaboration with Mattia Festa for Byblos at FuoriSalone 2016

This was best referenced in a STOOL-STEEL backpack designed to imply a portable seat to use wherever you are. Mattia’s lamp LIGHT RAY I found as a project of double-use – as he said, “it’s a decorative object, but kind of a 3D picture”, but at the same time I saw such a great light source that wouldn’t distract you.

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STEEL-STOOL Metal Chair by Mattia Festa for Byblos at FuoriSalone 2016

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So every piece made by the young designer has a different meaning which depends on the use that he decides to give to it.

This is the first time he’s working with metal but it wasn’t random. For these pieces Festa wanted a material that would be able to represent his style and that could make you understand his personality and his design thought – research for simplicity, for each project whatever it is, the fundamental elements and applying those without exceeding the element’s surface.

“So the choice of metal is because of its complete integrity; it’s very simple and essential, but at the same time it’s very expressive and elegant “, – Mattia told me.

For future projects the artist has in mind to use a material that too has the same characteristics of simplicity and essential-ness – glass.
So let’s come together at his next exhibition, probably again in collaboration with the futuristic Byblos!

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