The timber objects of Aldo Cibic & Bijoy Jain
Woodwork is a collection by the Italian designer Aldo Cibic and Bijoy Jain, the founder of Indian architecture practice, Studio Mumbai. Released by Paola C - an Italian brand well known for their delicate glassware and timeless silver tableware pieces, this collection has a distinctly different aesthetic. All about it's handmade origins, the limited tools and single material used, the objects were first shown by Paola C as prototypes at Salone del Mobile in 2012.
The simple objects have an artisan quality that is immediately engaging, with each piece working as a sculptural object as well as a practical household implement. The carved facets on some objects, contrast very beautifully with the highly polished surface of objects such as the 'Moon bowls'. Originally presented in a minimalist style in 2012, this year for their official production release, Paola C turned the space into a decadent scene with tables overloaded with flowers and fruit. What was interesting was that the objects weren't lost in all the excess - to the contrary, their simple beauty and sculptural form shone through.
Meet the designers
“The life of an object is dependent upon the different understanding and interpretation that we may have. Whether original, transformed or personalized, every object has the innate ability to tell a story; from the initial intent of the craftsman’s gesture and choice, to its past and potential use"
“Meeting Bijoy Jain and the projects of Studio Mumbai, led to the idea of organizing an exhibition of objects made from exotic wood. The pieces of the collection were handmade in an incredible workshop that is located in the forest south of Mumbai. Here fifty or so Indian craftsmen, together with students, architects and designers from all over the world, work together”
There is something so beautifully honest about the collection. The pieces are in the main, extremely simple, taking archetypal forms but even when they do become more 'designed', as in the case of Cibic's candleholder, the material seems to rein in this characteristic, leaving an object which has a strong connection with the craft of woodworking.
Aldo Cibic has been the art director of Paola C since 2000 but also runs a design and research studio, CibicWorkshop. Born in Schio (Vicenza) in 1955, Cibic moved to Milan in 1977 to work with Ettore Sottsass and by 1980 became a partner. The Memphis collection followed in 1981 and Cibic was one of the designers and founders. In 1989, Cibic decided to form his own studio and created Cibic&Partners.
Today, he is involved mostly in architectural and large scale interior projects but also teaches at Domus Academy, as a professor of the degree course in Industrial Design in the Faculty of Architecture of the Politecnico di Milano and at the degree course in Industrial Design of the Faculty of Architecture of the IUAV (the University Institute of Architecture in Venice). The CibicWorkshop is based in Vicenza and works across disciplines with a team of young designers.
With the Woodwork collection, Bijoy Jain has, for the first time, collaborated with a producer of designer objects and brought not only his own creative skills to the project but also the production capacities of his team of artisans in India. The architectural work of Studio Mumbai relies heavily on the use of local artisans and local materials with most of the practice's buildings being almost entirely handcrafted. The diaphanous walls of the Palmyra house (below) are made from dried Palmyra palm for example. Bijoy Jain was born in Mumbai, in 1965 and received his Master of Architecture from Washington University in St Louis, USA in 1990. He worked in Los Angeles and London between 1989 and 1995 and returned to India in 1995 to found his practice.