Technology and craft are common buzzwords these days, but the recent collaboration between Fendi and architecture duo Aranda/Lasch explores the duality with an unusual concept. Dubbed "Modern Primitives," the project started with Aranda/Lasch's sculptural installations based on a crystal structure and its "forbidden symmetries", which debuted at the 2010 Venice Biennale before landing stateside at Design Miami last December.
The sculptures, the result of the architects' obsession with the way the modular shape "programs" the faceted patterns, may look futuristic and high-tech but were dictated by the organic formations of the crystals. Defining the project, this tension between order and looseness sets the stage for an interplay between high and low (the pieces are coated with a truck bed liner called Line-X), as well as craftsmanship and the digital world. In addition to lining one of Fendi's Peeakaboo bags in Japanese medicinal Washi fabric woven with a design based on the crystals, there's an iPad app to simulate how the crystals grow.
In Modern Primitives' latest incarnation, "Fatto a Mano for the Future," Fendi brought the craft side to life in a live demonstration. Using the tetrahedrons and leathers from the Spring collection, Roman craftspeople worked alongside Aranda/Lasch at an event yesterday in their Fifth Avenue Store to meticulously hand-stitch covers.
From there, the exhibit will travel to other store locations before becoming part of the Fendi Foundation.
Photos by Gregory Stefano