Marta Lavinia Carboni is a designer who grew up between London, Paris and Milan,
where she now lives and works. She has designed a new object for Senato Hotel Milano
which is first and foremost the story of a gesture.
This one-of-a-kind Senato Mug features a sophisticated graphic design with longitudinal bars representing the hand's imprint on the ceramic, and small dots illustrating that "airspace" which does not equate to emptiness.
How did this collaboration with Senato Hotel Milano started?
Last year I had a solo exhibition at the Sanfermosette Gallery in Milan, curated by Laura Maggi, where I showed some of my latest work. The creative director of the Hotel noticed my collection of piattitipici, and so piattounico was born, a spin-off dedicated to Senato Hotel Milano.
Now, after the dish, the collaboration continues with a mug...
Yes, it was stimulating to work on a project that had to convey the identity of Senato Hotel Milano, without losing my narrative, which tends to be very essential. The meeting of our identities resulted in a seemingly graphic object (the mug is exactly the archetype of the English mug), yet something that hides its own special narrative.
I imagined a person in one of the cosy rooms of Senato Hotel Milano, drinking the first coffee of the morning or a jasmine tea before going to sleep, allowing himself a moment, a suspended moment of silence and stillness. As you sip the cup, you wrap your hand around it and close your shoulders, as if to better savour not only the hot drink but also the present, the here and now.
The longitudinal lines, like the texture of skin under a microscope, describe the imprint that the hand leaves on the cup, while the dots draw the air around it.
You seem to be more interested in the gesture than the form of the object, am I wrong?
Whenever I design, I always try to tell a story. We already have so many objects that are beautiful: the reason I give myself permission to make a new one is if it jingles. If it jingles, you can do it. For me, the jingle is the butterflies in the belly of the project. In this case it is the gesture that the graphics reveal and conceal.
Senato mug is available in the hotel's 'Senato Shop'.