Design Stories: from Venice to New York,...

Design Stories: from Venice to New York, Serenissimo and Creso

“If you can design one thing, you can design everything.”
(Massimo Vignelli)


“Design is one” has been the motto to lead the entire professional life of Massimo & Lella Vignelli, from the first architecture, graphic and design studio in Venice in the sixties, to Unimark International in 1965, Vignelli Associates founded in New York in 1971 with other headquarters in Milan and Paris.

According to Vignelli, the discipline of design is one and only, every field needs specific expertise, but the method to approach the project does not change because “if you can design one thing, you can design everything”.

The ten-year collaboration with Acerbis takes shape in the first years of the ‘80s and starts with an encounter in New York, adoptive metropolis to the Vignellis and main international window for Acerbis: the idea is to create a family of tables able to fuse together the craftsmanship taste with the expertise of Acerbis in a unique icon standing for the Italian know-how in the world.

The approach to the project is characterized by two key elements of Massimo & Lella Vignelli’s design thinking: on one side, a rigorous, visually strong design of the lines; on the other side, an intimate connection to the Italian artisan knowledge that makes the product intellectually elegant, unique and timeless.

The genesis of Serenissimo and Creso is deeply connected to the life and professional experience of Massimo & Lella Vignelli: the research on the project starts from Venice, headquarter of their studies, training and and source of great inspiration for the Vignellis, and particularly from the recovery of artisan techniques like the encausto also known as “Venetian stucco” consisting in the application by spatula or brush of a very thin sand plaster and then warm draught of the colors with metal tools called “cauteri” or “cestri”.
The chromatic weaving that follows is deep and multicolor, with unique shades changing piece by piece and enriched by the wise hands of the artisans: for the colour palette Massimo & Lella Vignelli are inspired by the nuances of Francesco Guardi’s paintings, one of the most important exponent of the artistic movement of the 18th century of Venetian Vedutismo.
The result is a family of tables characterized by visually strong lines, with a great contrast between the top and the significant dimension of the legs that become true pillars designing an unmistakable domestic architecture.
The purity of the glass top coming in transparent, opalescent or grey transparent versions, and in arabescato marble counterbalances the artisan material of pillars’ Fresco finishing handcrafted with the encausto technique, that makes each Serenissimo and Creso true artist’s masterpieces.
Icons of design that in over thirty years of history evolved and got enriched by new finishings of the pillars like the metal web cloth cladding in bronze colour and the mirrored stainless steel.

Serenissimo was honored with the Golden Award by IDB Institute of Business Designer in New York in 1987 and was selected for over 30 worldwide exhibitions from 1984 so far.

Creso was awarded with the Compasso d’Oro ADI Honorable Mention in 1989