Since ancient Roman times, Carrara marble has been used to create iconic works of art and architecture, including the Pantheon, Michelangelo’s Pietà and David, and more recently Marble Arch in London. In the last few decades, it has become much more accessible and it is used on a global scale in furniture and décor products. This precious material has found its way into modern homes through functional and beautiful items which are valued for their unmistakable charm. But the impressive demand for this type of marble ultimately produces vast amounts of waste. Moreno Ratti puts a spotlight on modern manufacturing processes through his product design work.
Born in Carrara, Italy, Ratti has studied architecture before becoming a designer. He has worked with marble since 2013, creating projects that either use discarded pieces or are completed without producing any waste. Ratti’s latest project, the Suspended Collection for Marmo Trilogy, is his most refined and elegant yet, but like most good works of art it also provides a more complex discourse that goes beyond merely aesthetic appreciation. Undeniably, the vases are striking and beautiful. The light gray marble with thin lines is captured inside blocks of resin, creating a contrast between the matte white surface and the transparent outer shell. The vessels are suspended, defying their mass to become weightless in a surreal transformation. But to appreciate the collection fully, one needs to understand the context in which it was created. The clear resin is the same type of material used to envelop large blocks of marble to enhance their strength before cutting them in thinner slabs. The vessels are made from discarded pieces, a by-product of a process known as ‘coring’. Together, the two elements display the reality of modern manufacturing methods. The vases would have normally been made from solid blocks, and the discarded material is represented here by the resin. The marble used to make the Suspended Collection would have been classified as waste. Moreno Ratti‘s work illustrates both artisan skill and a passion for sustainability through elegant products. The vessels are not just ‘pretty things’; they combine style and substance in beautiful décor items which have an important story to reveal.