It is our pleasure and duty to give a functional and poetic dimension to man’s living space. Such dimensions has its origin from the awareness that everything a man does always relates to others and it is therefore communication.
Our surroundings help us re-conciliate with life and re-discover its beauty. So architecture double function is to hold and protect people and to define men’s space.
Working with wood is a step in this direction. The careful use of this precious material, in the fullest respect for its nature, is a poetic act.
The quality of the structures comes from our ability to give a high meaning to the space we live in. Even the techniques employed, such as interlocking (more suitable to wood), are a part of this discovery. The clearly defined joints become an element of beauty.
Giuseppe Rivadossi has also felt the need to carve his wood structures entirely from blocks from the very beginning.
The results of these two different yet equally effective techniques have a very different poetic meaning. The structures made of interlocked parts communicate the beauty of rationality and technology; those entirely carved from block evoke the earth, caverns, primeval memories.
Lately this method has reached its own maturity. The structures carved from wood blocks have become simpler in shape and lighter in size, suggesting a sudden appearance of light.
Our living space is the landscape of our lives, of the relationships with our loved ones. The structures and images that define this space must help us find that great sense of unity between us and the everything outside of us, relation which constitutes the purpose of our being human.
Universal symbols have become such for their ability to immediately evoke life’s great events: the arch of the sky, the line on the horizon, a starry sky, the sun, the moon, the foliage of trees, the waves in the sea, springtime, the verticality of a tree and of a person, motherhood.
Each line, shape and color suggesting such events evokes memories of ancestral collective experiences.
These images are archetypes. The lines and shapes of our “cases”, developed vertically, create an internal landscape which takes us back to earth, to the horizon, to the sky, to the poetry of our first contemplation of the world we live in.
The great language of art and of sculpture has its origin from this ancestral human experience.
I do not believe in the modern concept of man completely detached from this experience, I believe that human beings can find their identity only through the discovery and acknowledgement of the world they live in.
Sense of belonging is the origin of our feelings and makes us feel part of the great humanity we were born into and live in. Modern times materialism neglects and denies this aspect of life.
Beauty helps us seek a loving connection with the world we live in. Beauty does not only relate to art works (paintings, sculptures, music, architecture): a work of art is just a representation of beauty, where harmony and life are expressed through colors, shades, light and shapes.
The greatest beauty comes from the feeling of mutual love and trust between individuals and between us and the universe. Beauty is an inner language which originates from bliss and is passed on through our work.
Work is always communication: the beauty of our structures find its deepest roots in the Paleolithic age, in the Middle Ages and in the modern poetics of Mies Van de Rohe, Louis Kahn and Alvar Aalto.
The concept of home, like a city, has evolved throughout time in relation to climate and culture. Originally just a shelter, it has become the space we share with others, where we meet others.
This urban cell is the place where we live and communicate; it must be built and developed in accordance with values of honesty, faith and willingness to do good. Our homes hold our memories, projects, culture and love.
Everything in a home tells a story. The dignity of a home lies in the balance and harmony of its structure, but most of all in the humaneness of the people living in it.
Our homes, if built according to a positive vision of life, will help us find the pleasure of living and relating to others.
We could not survive if we were not “contained”, as in held, fostered, protected. The universe holds the earth, mother earth holds us and we hold life.
A “case” is not just a banal container nor a simple packing box; it is a gentle structure which holds its contents with care and love.
Our very first “case” is our mother, who gave us life, attention and love; then mother earth, with its vegetation, living beings, sea and sky; then everyone who love us. We were born in this sacred aura, we have become aware of ourselves, of other beings and of the world, and we exist.
The primal images we present evoke that sense of belonging, which is essential for the development a grateful and loving attitude towards the mystery of life.
Giuseppe Rivadossi was born in Nave on July 8th, 1935. His first solo exhibition was in 1968. In 1978 he founded the Officina Rivadossi, where, with a group of collaborators, he started the production of wood objects and furniture. The Officina work was introduced for the first time at the Rotonda della Besana exhibition in Milan in 1980, presented by art critic Gianfranco Bruno and Electa catalogue. Many shows have been dedicated to his work throughout the years, such as his sculpture solo at Palazzo del Ridotto, organized by the City of Cesena in 1996. In the spring of 2005 the Museum Palazzo Forti in Verona organized an important anthology exhibition of his pieces, presented by Giorgio Cortenova. Plenty has been written about his works and poetics, by, among others, Giovanni Testori, Vittorio Sgarbi, Roberto Tassi, Gianfranco Bruno, Marco Vallora, Ermanno Olmi, Giorgio Cortenova, Piercarlo Santini, Mario Botta.
Today he runs, with his sons Emanuele and Clemente, the laboratory HABITO by GIUSEPPE RIVADOSSI, where they develop projects and produce pieces for interiors. Wood is the main material used in the laboratory, always with maximum respect for its characteristics.
Assemblage and block carving are the techniques adopted. Giuseppe Rivadossi’s work is aimed at creating a poetic domestic space, at serving and humanizing space with new structures linked to ancient traditions.
Born in 1973, Emanuele shows interest in the Officina very early and starts studying art at a very young age. After his High School Diploma, he studies at the Politecnico of Milan, where he graduates with Prof. Giancarlo Consonni.
At the same time he attends extracurricular courses, some of which held by Prof. George Kohirieser, president of ITAA (International Transactional Analysis Association).
In 2001, embracing his father’s values and objectives, he decides to join the laboratory.
He has been happily married to Silvia since 2002 and has a daughter, Marta.
Born in 1980, Clemente Rivadossi has also shown interest in the laboratory at a very young age; after his High School Diploma, he decided to join the family business.
He worked in the laboratory for a couple of years to learn the techniques and attends technical drawing and marketing courses.
After graduating in Industrial Design from Politecnico di Milano, today he handles buyers’ projects and relations.
We ask our collaborators to understand and share the spirit of each work and to concretely participate in its completion, like a musician interpreting a music score with all his heart and passion. We want our collaborators to be fully aware of the purpose of each piece and to responsibly participate. This requires willingness, time and trust.
1965-1970: THE SPACE OF POETRY
In his early thirties and already an established sculptor, Giuseppe Rivadossi discovers everyday space, space within the home or in the city, as the ultimate arena for communication and poetry; so he devotes himself to defining this space by facing the challenge of recovering its poetic dimension.
Thus he develops structures that are designed for a home that is not only welcoming and functional but also becomes a refuge and a “space for the soul”.
1970-1979: THE ARCHETYPES
For Giuseppe Rivadossi the place of origin, and therefore of being, has a specific name: archetype. Or literally, in Greek, “image of the origin”.
There is no doubt that the works of Rivadossi have always had the spirit of archetypes, namely, of the memory and the sign of the cosmos we inhabit.
1980-1995: WOODEN ARCHITECTURE AND THE SYMBOLISM OF STRUCTURES
From 1980 onwards, Giuseppe Rivadossi’s attention focuses on the architectural aspect of the wooden structure, leaving aside the more visionary solutions to recover an increasingly elegant operational technology, calibrated on the materials and on the dimensions of the structures in relation to their function.
Thus the structures are subjected to a design process of decantation aimed at a totally clean appearance, one that responds precisely and fully to the functionality that is required of these structures, yet without ever forgetting the semantic value that is symbolic of language.
1995-2014: LIGHTNESS AND LIGHT AS PRIMARY BEAUTY
As for space and environment, the last two decades mark for Rivadossi a sort of return to his origins, to the physicality of the material as a salient and primary feature of the piece.
The wood used in these creations now has a vertical fibre.
The return to physicality is not a repeat of past experience but successfully evolves towards a transcendent lightness: material and its strength are almost contained and sublimated with a few essential strokes in the lightness of light. Matter becomes the light of everything.