uctile, recyclable, elegant as well as antibacterial: copper has endless physical, chemical and mechanical properties and as a result, it’s found in a diverse range of fields. The first metal used by man, thanks to its properties, copper improves several aspects of your everyday life and future too. It’s not a coincidence in fact that copper has always been an essential material in the fields of architecture and design that currently focus on its aesthetic, decorative aspect. Considered as a glamorous, contemporary material capable of adding a chic touch to any space, copper is now central to the new trends in interior décor.
The latest trend in home décor in fact, focuses on enhancing the potential of natural materials and as a consequence, industrial designers are increasingly more aware of issues concerning the environment. As a result, copper has made a comeback as it’s timeless, its manufacturing process saves time and energy and it has a range of advantages and it’s employed in a range of different ways.
Copper is extensively employed in a diverse range of fields such as bathroom fixtures and fittings (as it’s antibacterial), the automotive industry, interior design and the world of fashion and here, it’s transformed into an elegant, malleable fabric.
Now in its seventh edition, the international competition Il rame e la casa 2018, promoted by European Institute of Copper, shines a light on this material. All the participants, designers and architects under 40 as well as students from design schools and universities, have created a vast range of product types, working with copper in groundbreaking ways.
Judged by a panel that includes the designer Matteo Ragni, the design critic Marco Romanelli and the architect Massimo Curzi, there over 250 projects (from all over the world) that range from lamps to radiators that focus on the material’s conductibility and from tiny domestic vegetable gardens to sustainable food storage.
The winning projects (presented at the gallery Salvioni Milano Durini) represent contemporary and innovative approaches that combine energy saving technique with designs with a low environmental impact. The more successful entries include: the jug Kink by Cornelius Comanns, a tube with an artistic fold; Imbuto by Luca Ladiana that transforms a glass funnel in a flower; Balance, the lamps/ sculptures in earth by Paulina Krystyna Sobczyk; pendant lamps Fili Scoperti by Carolina Martinelli and Vittorio Venezia; the original spinning top Jijji by Andre Brugnera, an unconventional holder for mosquito repellent that combines a practical aesthetic with a fun side.
Entries by students are worth a special mention too: CU. Vietato non toccare, by Claudia Ragnelli and Valeria de Angelis that teaches children to recognise copper, inspired by Bruno Munari’s narratives; stackable vases Anknaes by Charlotte Martine Stephanie Putois and Ludovic Grégory Lézandron that when not in use, transform into a sculpture; the collar bijoux Copper Knife by Magdalena Zawiazalec and Bartosz Brylewski that you wear as a ring.
Il rame e la casa 2018 offer endless variations on ways in which copper is used, emphasising the material’s beauty and its constant innovation.