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Chimera collection, design Elena Salmistraro 2020, Cedit.

| Designbest editorial staff


he legendary monster of Greek mythology, the chimera—absurd hypothesis, pipe dream—was a grotesque and rather frightening beast with a lion’s face, goat’s body, a dragon’s tail and even a goat’s head that came out of the middle of the body. What does it have to do with the new collection proposed by a company which has always explored the boundaries of ceramics and its encroachments into the territories of art and design? We went to get a sneak peek and find out.

  • What it is  Chimera is a new porcelain stoneware tile collection proposed by Cedit - Ceramiche d’Italia (made in Florim).
  • What makes it special  Through graphic elements that elicit our emotions, the Chimera collection tells a story in four different chapters with these emblematic names: Empatia, Radici, Ritmo and Colore. In each of the themes, originally incongruous parts get combined, mixed and blended as they do in the mythological creature. The symbolic meaning gets materialized through a clear and decisive decorative element that brings together creative flair, formal rigor and conceptual abstraction.
  • How it is made  Chimera is a collection of large porcelain stoneware slabs with unusually vivid colors and carved or raised décor that generate tactile sensations that are similar to tiny embroidered patterns in an original layered effect. Its four subjects blend various graphic and color codes derived from the surface of stones, fabrics and leathers in an expressive carousel in which the intriguing implanted figures are amplified by an innovative technical process. Through a completely personal filter of abstraction, the Empatia series interprets the stage makeup of a clown by superimposing geometries and images. Radici is a tribal declaration, a tribute to primitive ritual custom evoked by the interference of a sequence of triangles and rectangles with a system of figurative fragments. Ritmo is influenced by fabric and pays homage to Anni Albers, pioneer of Bauhaus, evoking the alternation of woven yarns. And finally, in Colore the dotted background generated by a software creates the contrast with the repeated “analogue” patterns in the design. Each series of the collection is available in various colors and with an undecorated piece for pairing neutral surfaces to the designs.
  • Whose idea it is  Chimera is a project by Elena Salmistraro, one of the names of the new generation of Italian design. The professional career of the Milanese industrial designer, which ranges from illustration to design and visual arts, took off with the creation of initially self-produced ceramic objects. Her extroverted and colorful stylistic features are easily recognizable. They are as ironic and joyous as they are conceptual, in an expressive language that wants to stimulate our most emotional side. Winner of the Salone del Mobile Milano Award as “Best emerging designer” in 2017 and Ambassador of Italian Design in 2017-18, Elena Salmistraro has had exhibits in numerous prestigious galleries and collaborates with the most well-known design brands including Alessi, Bosa and Vitra.
  • We chose it because…  Elena Salmistraro surely doesn’t lack boldness, and we can see it also in the intense expressive power of this project. The four proposals produced for Chimera clearly define the character of a space. In addition to their striking look, they also have a story to tell and retell day to day, freeing the imagination to wander in their abstract patterns.



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