Another highlight at this year’s Downtown Design will be the attendance of acclaimed Florentine designer Duccio Maria Gambi who will be presenting his Tempore Collection at the fair by Lebanese carpet creator Iwan Maktabi. The collection, which features an alluring design and colour scheme, explores the relationship between the natural and the artificial.
“Tempore” is a Latin term denoting a temporary or provisional period. Gambi’s creative process for the collection of hand-knotted rugs made of Himalayan wool is meant to evoke the temporality of time, with each rug evoking a specific interval of time captured visually as the anatomy of each piece emerges and dissolves.
“I named the collection Tempore because I felt it was important to link it to time, to set and define these shapes as a frame frozen and stopped in between what came before and what will happen next,” he explains. “I think that you can have the feeling that something, a shape, was there before and something is happening to give you the results you see in front of you.”
Gambi was inspired by the graphic structure that was generated by oil pastels and the ballpoint pen. Where the pastel stimulates a free, wild, and imprecise line, the ballpoint pen pushes towards a more precise, continuous, and rational one. Gambi loves combining such contrasts and opposing entities into four dimensions.
Through his designs, Gambi explores the relationship between the natural and the artificial. Before opening his studio and workshop in Paris in 2012, he received a strong theoretical background during his studies in the Radical Design Movement in Florence and his years while studying in Milan. His work has long focused on concrete casting and experimentation and spans bespoke furniture pieces for private clients to research-led one-off designs for design galleries and fashion brands.
At the heart of Gambi’s work is visual experimentation. This is found also in the Tempore collection through the coupling of seemingly contrasting elements. His series of rugs features hand-knotted, Himalayan wool rugs replicating drawings with oil pastels and ballpoint pens, a combination of precision and freedom. The resulting creations offer a play of contrasts, colours, and lines, coexisting on the knotted structures in multiple dimensions.
“In my works, there is always a constant element a contrast between parts, each of which acts as a background and frame for the other, and these various parts then interact with each other,” explains Gambi. “Quite often the artificial, man-made gesture, serves as a descriptive element for the natural one.”
Gambi says he has always been “attracted by contexts where geometry, repetition, clean and visually closed elements are inserted into heterogeneous and lively dynamic natural environments.”
Through his work, he loves to find ways where time and nature intersect whether it be through an artificial land, an abandoned building, or a ruin.
Additionally, Gambi will offer an exclusive never-before-seen rug designed for Italian design company cc-tapis titled COURSE. Whatever he creates, the result goes beyond a design object.
“I think we’re part of time and nature and the strong relationship between them,” he says. “We feel how much nature with its continuous flow represents our temporary nature.”