Driade, the aesthetic lab of Italian design since 1968, at the Artissima International Contemporary Art Fair in Turin.
Exuberant, extravagant, eclectic, elegant, timeless: these are the words that have been used to describe Driade for nearly 50 years. These same words could be used to talk about contemporary art and its Italian temple, Artissima, founded in 1994 and since become a cornerstone for both art professionals and aficionados.
Driade and Artissima find common ground and dialogue through the products that will furnish the Oval, a glass structure built for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin as part of the industrial complex of the Lingotto, now the site of Italy’s most important contemporary art fair.
With 206 galleries from 31 countries, the new edition of Artissima – curated by Luís Silva and João Mourão and directed by Ilaria Bonacossa – hosted more than 2,000 works to celebrate the unique experience, giving the visitor the opportunity to enjoy the installations designed by architect Carlo Alberto de Laugier. In particular, two spaces dedicated to relax and culture: the bookshop, featuring items from Driade’s indoor collections, and the lounge, with the finest outdoor pieces, foremost among which is Sissi, the chair designed by Ludovica+Roberto Palomba that’s been making the rounds among the world’s most exclusive events.
Back in the days when design was triggering a new current of thought, function and image, Driade was among the great speakers, anticipating a sort of lingua franca, comprehensible at every latitude in that it was written in different languages and style. If this phenomenon were a city, it would be New York or London, or Caravaggio’s Rome. Or, as it happened, the Milan of the Astori family, where Driade was founded in 1968.
The history of Driade is one of master craftsmen and designers working together with the company to create some of the landmarks of design history. The 1970s marked the start of longstanding relationships with some of the most important Italian designers, including Antonia Astori, Enzo Mari and Alessandro Mendini, and later on, Philippe Starck, Oscar Tusquets, Tokujin Yoshioka, Borek Sipek, Ron Arad, Patricia Urquiola, Fabio Novembre and many others.
The intention had always been to introduce experimentation into the industrial production of iconic products, guided by a focus on creativity and research. Thus was born what would be defined over time as a “manufacturer d’auteur”, a producer of a sophisticated and articulated series of furniture and accessories for the home and outdoors.
“When I think of the giants of contemporary art who made Artissima great, like Michelangelo Pistoletto, Mario Merz and Jannis Kounellis, it brings to mind projects that touch one’s soul and sensibility”, says Stefano Core, CEO of Driade and ItalianCreationGroup, “fully in keeping with the aesthetic lab that Driade has always represented in the world of design”.