Driade is an aesthetic lab in continuous search for beauty in living space. The vast Driade catalogue includes home, garden and public spaces furniture. Pieces of art and objects for daily use, souls that blend each other harmoniously. All this makes Driade unique in design world. The aesthetic lab is the result of the desire to introduce experimentation into mass-produced products. The search for creativity in each product constitutes the mission of the enterprise itself. Driade creates products that are unique, eclectic, eccentric but at the same time elegant, timeless and, above all, joyful. Within this alchemy of means of expression and sensations, everyone finds a Driade that it looks like him.
The art of living is based on the idea that eclecticism, blend of cultures, curiosity and surprise are the true essence of our age.
A bent for listening, a state of alert, an attention to register the signs coming from outside and then translate them into daily products.
Being permeable to differences makes Driade project one that is open to the future. Driade denies the flatness of globalization but grasps at the freshness coming from the multiplication of places and the development of ides.
Driade was born in 1968 thanks to the joint efforts of a founding group formed by Enrico Astori, the art director who from the beginning defines the product and communication policies; Antonia Astori, a designer who is also the author of the Company’s architectural image; Adelaide Acerbi in charge of the brand’s image and communication.
Since the beginning Driade asserts itself for the quality of its creative offer and for an industrial policy heavily geared towards innovation, a synergy of three core designer elements: project planning, execution and advertising.
Producing furniture and furnishings as individual art objects following the rules of collecting. This is how Driade was developed as a factory of art.
Whilst most other companies today are remembered for ONE success, ONE pinnacle moment, for the past 50 years Driade has focused on becoming a continuously evolving aesthetic workshop.
1968 - 1973
FIRST DESIGN ICONS
In 1968 the onset of Driade coincided with the presentation of the system of containers “Driade 1”designed for laying the basis for an interpretation of the typical “container” as an active tool in designing spaces. With this silent revolution, Antonia Astori brought design back into the architecture: the wardrobe became a wall and, thanks to “Oikos” (1972) it turned into a partition wall. It is a global system of furniture with which you can build an infinity of piece of furniture, an interface between before and after.
The history of Driade in early years is strictly bound to Italian design, embracing the professional certainty of Giotto Stoppino and Rodolfo Bonetto, the moral revolution of Enzo Mari, but also the artistic and behavioural revolution of Nanda Vigo, the classic perfection of Massimo and Lella Vignelli, and the young brashness of De Pas – D’Urbino – Lomazzi.
1° FURNITURE MANUAL SOLD AT NEWS-STANDS
From the beginning it has been assigned to the communication a strategic role that works on two levels: that of the divulgation and that of promotion. Both give rise to a "meta-language" that processes the "words" of individual artists within a stream of communications that include publishing initiatives, graphics slogans, construction of events.
In 1983 Driade published the first of his furniture manual that it is sold at news-stands.
The product documentation overlaps the story of an atmosphere and the allusion to a system of spaces of which individual objects are witnesses and guarantors.
Adelaide Acerbi’s graphic accompanies the Company in its metamorphosis, from the minimalist rigor of the 70’s to the eclectic complexity of recent years; it is linked to the history of Italian photography, involving Mulas, Ballo, Basilico who through their campaigns help to develop that image of crystalline products that over the years will remain as a distinctive sign.
Stark AND THE INTERNATIONALIZATION
In the 80’s, Driade takes an international turn toward a multiplication of languages.
This is Philippe Starck‘s story, who in 1984 with the Costes armchair embarked on a personal research in the realm of shape that Driade is still pursuing ranging from high-quality and handcrafted upholstery products, chairs and tables in rotational and injection mould techniques plastic, the chairs in carbon fiber and many of other materials for myriad other types.
With Starck they were soon to come Tusquets, Clotet, Littmann, Ron Arad, Sipek, Toyo Ito, Chipperfield, Sejima, Pawson, Bellini who together with Mari and Antonia Astori gave life to Driade history, a kaleidoscope of languages that reflects the complexity of developing trends in the world of design
The headquarters designed by Antonia Astori in Fossadello, near Piacenza, perfectly communicate the image of the aesthetic laboratory. It expresses the idea of an overall image where everything contributes to create a work of art; where you can find pieces of architecture, furniture, objects, fabrics and carpets.
A central hallway goes through the building, a clear and rigorous sign, an architectural promenade on which elegantly furnished offices and rooms overlook. Everything aims to build an atmosphere of subtle aestheticism, in which the rational geometric structures can coexist with furnishings that have marked the last decades of design.
Borek Sipek / LES FOLLIES
In the 80’s it was natural for Driade to give birth to an important collection of decorative objects lively decorating the living space. It is a story that at first it is identified by Borek Sipek, a Bohemihan artist, who developed an original neo baroque language made of blown glass, silver and precious wood and modelled it with Driade over the years. The different languages of designers of accessories who joined soon Sipek (Mari, Tusquets, Lovegrove, Antonia Astori, Laudani and Romanelli, etc.) led Driade, thanks to the brand Driadekosmo, to become a multi-faceted company we are accustomed with today.
VIA MANZONI SHOWROOM
In 1994 Driade opened daDriade showroom in via Manzoni; a series of big spaces, of rooms with dramatic fresco paintings and galleries in the antique palace Gallarati Scotti. The complete Driade catalogue hosted visitors: furniture, kitchens, complements, objects of art and of everyday use.
In the mid 90’s DriadeStore collection was born, a collection of furniture and items for everyday living conceived for young people that shared refined design, streamlined manufacturing systems and idealistic quality at affordable prices.
Miki Astori, Platt and Young, Haberli, Grcic, Starck and many others began to converse with old masters, Starck above all, for the development of this project.
Japanese Tokujin Yoshioka’s debut at DriadeStore in 2002 once again confirms how experimenting with new shapes and living solutions continues to be the vital spirit of the company.
CLOUDS /35 years celebration
To celebrate the 35 years of activity Driade organizes during the Furniture Fair in Milan the exhibition-event Clouds showing 65 icon items at Rotonda della Besana that testify Driade contribution to the history of modern design
In 2007 Driade organizes a big party to celebrate the long-standing collaboration with Philippe Starck
In 2008 Driade received the Compasso d’Oro for his MT3, a rocking chair designed by Ron Arad. A long study on production technology made it possible to achieve the rotational molding of decorative elements in two-coloured material. The placing of the polyethylene in two phases in the colored powder in mass diversifies the embossed outer surface from the smooth inner one, that is revealed with the final cut of the sides performed with numerical control machine with five axes.
It is the third Compasso d’Oro of the company after the one received for Delfina chair by Enzo Mari (1979) and for the table Legato, again by Enzo Mari, in 2001.
In 2013 Driade has been take over by ItalianCreationGroup, an industrial holding involved in acquiring and accelerating the growth of small medium enterprises whose brands represent the excellence and essence of Italian creativity. The group comes from an intuition of Giovanni Perissinotto, former CEO of the Generali Group, and Stefano Core, former manager of Telecom, to provide an innovative managerial model to Italian companies devoted to high-quality products and the respect of local handcraft traditions and to preserve creative skills supporting the growth in the global market. In this perspective the holding opened a branch in USA that it is called ItalianCreationGroup Usa Inc.
2014 - 2016
David Chipperfield - artistic director
The two-year collaboration from 2014 to 2016 between David Chipperfield and Driade, first established immediately after the acquisition of the Company by ItalianCreationGroup in 2013, saw David Chipperfield appointed as Artistic Director and aimed to redefine and realign the Company values that led to Driade’s unique position in the history of design.
Driade opens in Via Borgogna
Located in the heart of Milan, it is spread over an area of about 500 square meters on three levels and with a beautiful outdoor area. One open and bright space where products talk together, an alternation between iconic pieces and the latest news. The rigorous architecture, which is at the same time harmonic, frames the collection that, through a selection of products, manages to summarize the breadth and versatility of the range. The new store embodies the spirit of the Driade world: a 360-degree view on the world of living which combines poetry and rigor and translates them into a timeless, eclectic, elegant, extravagant and joyful product.