“Magis asked me to design a shelving system,” says Stefano Giovannoni. “I immediately recognized that a square unit was the best option for modularity. However, I also realized it would be quite difficult to avoid creating something banal.”

Подпись: The Boogie Woogie Shelving unit by Giovannoni Design is a modular system of identical plastic cubes that can be added to one another vertically and horizontally to create a bookshelf or room divider of any size. Credit: Carlo Lavatori “I decided to give the face of the book unit fluidity, a sense of three dimensions, using the same three dimensional form that I created with the Fruitscape design for Alessi,” he says. “I shifted the Fruitscape form from horizontal to vertical, and projected a square grid onto this curved landscape, creating the book unit modules,” he continues. “It’s funny that this product came from another product. This was the starting point, and it’s something that is very special. I never succeeded to do such kind of trans­position before, but I think it fits very well to this product.”

The fruitscape is a “bowl,” which is actually a flat piece of pol­ished stainless steel with mounds dispersed over its surface for nesting individual pieces of fruit. “Each module is a small moun­tain like a wave,” says Giovannoni. “For the Boogie Woogie, we used the same surface, and I cut off the top of the each moun­tain. It’s like a projection of a grid where I create holes cutting off the higher level of the surface. Each module of the bookcase cor­responds to a module of the fruit bowl.” Fie continues, “I think this kind of transposition is very interesting in this project be­cause if you saw the two together, you would not recognize that they came from the same place.”

The Boogie Woogie unit was developed as a response to a very simple brief from furniture manufacturer Magis: “The bookcase has to be made out of one module that can increase in dimension horizontally and vertically,” according to Giovannoni. “The risk was to create a product that would be very boring. It’s not so easy be­cause I like to create complexity from a very basic briefing. Using this surface, the result creates a product that is not flat, but has a full-dimensional way of creating interesting movement.”

Each module is about 23" (0.6 m) square and made from injection molded ABS plastic in white, black, or red. The sides, bottom, and back of each piece are flat, while the front surface has a marked wave, picked up from the undulations on the Fruitscape. Modules are connected together vertically and horizontally to make a shelving unit of any size. In addition, they can be connected back-to-back to create a freestanding shelving unit or room di­vider where both the front and back undulate. The backs of indi­vidual modules can be left off, so the cubes are open. “The main piece includes the module with the front surface and eight sides —four outside and four inside the hole,” explains Giovan­noni. “This is one module, molded in one piece. The other mod­ule is the back panel. We have connectors that are made with

While Giovannoni does almost all his design phases directly on the computer, this early hand sketch shows his concept for metal fasteners embedded in each plastic cube that would allow the units to connect to one another, while maintaining a smooth presentation. Credit: Giovannoni Design

“Magis asked me to design a shelving system,” says Stefano Giovannoni. “I immediately recognized that a square unit was the best option for modularity. However, I also realized it would be quite difficult to avoid creating something banal.”^v^The undulating face of the Boogie Woogie was in­spired by a metal fruit holder Giovannoni designed, the Fruitscape (below). By taking the horizontal piece, making it vertical, and skimming the top off the mounds, the Boogie Woogie was born.

“Magis asked me to design a shelving system,” says Stefano Giovannoni. “I immediately recognized that a square unit was the best option for modularity. However, I also realized it would be quite difficult to avoid creating something banal.”
Credit: Giovannoni Design

“Magis asked me to design a shelving system,” says Stefano Giovannoni. “I immediately recognized that a square unit was the best option for modularity. However, I also realized it would be quite difficult to avoid creating something banal.”© Giovannoni felt that cubes were the best option for the modularity requested in the design brief, but was concerned they’d be too boring, so he gave the front face of each module a pronounced wave.

Credit: Giovannoni Design

® Boogie Woogie units are made from individ­ual cubes stacked and connected horizon­tally and vertically. Back panels can be added to close the units, or they can be left open. In addition, modules can be con­nected back-to-back to create a double­sided, freestanding room divider that has a wave pattern on both sides.

Подпись: metal bars, coinjected between metal inside and plastic outside, so we can have the same surface of the main piece. There is also a particular designated piece for the top of the bookcase so you can fix the bookcase to the wall.” For Giovannoni, working in plastic is inseparable from the design process itself. “I like to work in plastic because plastic is the most flexible material,” he says. “It’s a material that you can develop according with your ideas. It’s the most professional material for a designer because it’s connected with huge investment and it’s connected with an industrial way to conceive the product,” he notes, referring to the tooling costs involved in making a mold for large scale plastic production. Giovannoni feels very strongly that it is his responsibility as a de-signer to create products that will sell in high enough quantities to return the manufacturer’s initial investment. “If you design in wood, you have no investment, but when you speak of plastic, it’s a big investment, so it’s a big risk for the company, and in the case of plastic, they need professional design. I like to work in plastic because it’s a democratic material, it’s the material for everybody, it’s connected with huge numbers, and has many possibilities related to colors and shapes, and it’s a very modern material. I’m interested in the industrial process, in big investment, and big sales.” For Giovannoni, an essential aspect of working in plastics is embracing technology. “The designer who works in plastic uses different tools,” he says. “It’s very important to have three dimen-sional perception of the product. We started with the most sophis “Magis asked me to design a shelving system,” says Stefano Giovannoni. “I immediately recognized that a square unit was the best option for modularity. However, I also realized it would be quite difficult to avoid creating something banal.”

Credit: Carlo Lavatori

178 DESIGN SECRETS: FURNITURE