DESIGNERS

“Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible.”
M.C. Escher

Not merely thinking outside the box. Reinventing it. No matter the sacrifice. A vision that we share with our team of top-notch designers.
Each life story reveals an unbridled love for designing, a desire to create the extraordinary.

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GIANFRANCO BARBAN

Gallarate, Italia



Gianfranco Barban received a bachelor’s degree in architecture in 1994 from the Politecnico di Milano. Yet he first started exploring the world of research and design years earlier. Barban grew up watching and helping out master craftsmen in his family’s custom carpentry workshop. He learned about materials and their principal characteristics. This curiosity and enthusiasm remains and has prompted his continual research into innovative design.
In much of his work, Gianfranco Barban explores new ways of envisioning crystal. Inspired by nature, science and technology, he seeks to blend art and design into extraordinary objects. Even though he was trained as an architect, he employs an artisan’s approach and distinctive style. Research into materials and their use is at the heart of every project. As a result, the esthetic is continually evolving in surprising, captivating ways.

What influences your work?

Nature and science have always played an important role in my work. But, above all, the concept of time inspires me. The fourth dimension has been present in all my projects, from a wide variety of flowing surfaces to the continual, fascinating movements of a pendulum clock’s gears.
I am interested in objects that experience and shape time, that are enhanced when immersed in its never-ending march forward.

Which design project was the most challenging?

Without a doubt, the Takto Timepieces collection, our pendulum clocks. That’s because clockmaking is an art that combines knowledge, experience based on longstanding traditions and avant-garde technology. It’s a field in which quality, excellence and perfection are incredibly important. With Takto, we have tried to refashion time’s esthetic, and thanks to exemplary craftsmanship, we’ve been able to convey our passion and spirit in products which will be handed down from one generation to the next.

What innovations resulted from this project?

We wanted to restore time’s essence, represented by its movements. This led us to eliminate the clock’s traditional external structure and replace it with a precious crystal case through which the gears’ movements are visible. Assembling such a precision instrument required us to research and develop specialized equipment that would make it possible to manufacturer new, original timepieces.

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ADRIANO DESIGN

Torino, Italia



Davide and Gabriele Adriano are brothers, award-winning designers and the founders of Adriano Design. They’ve worked with prestigious national and international companies including Olivetti, Merlo, Scavolini, Meritalia and Fiat’s research center. Over the years, they’ve earned numerous international awards including a Compasso d’Oro (from Italy’s Association for Industrial Design,) iF Product Design Award, Design Plus award, Designpreis Deutschland award (from the German government,) and Good Design Award. They’ve also received prizes in the International Design Competition in Osaka and the Koizumi International Lighting Design Competition. With a broad vision, their design work encompasses and innovates every imaginable type of product.

What was the inspiration behind your Teckell creations?

We wanted to create something new for the Salone del Mobile, something that would transcend the fair’s usual furniture, something that would amaze people. That special something was the first crystal foosball table that we called Teckell. It was a tremendous challenge for us. And B.Lab demonstrated even more courage taking it on as a project. In the end, the marketplace rewarded us all.

In designing this project, what aspect proved most difficult?

Designing without limits, taking on the challenge of transforming an everyday object into a luxury item. No one had ever created a crystal foosball table. We ran into many problems both designing and creating the table, but this only made the final product all the more exclusive and exceptional.

What innovations resulted from this project?

Many innovations have come to light thanks to Teckell’s foosball tables. The prototype had a body made from a single sheet of crystal, a masterpiece both in terms of technology and craftsmanship. The steel plates that attach the legs to the table were bonded directly onto the body. This had never been tried before. The technology inside the table that reduces vibrations was cleverly hidden in order not to interfere with the table’s clean, minimal design. The prototype was so impressive and an innovative wonder that you couldn’t help but fall in love with it at first sight or certainly once you’d played with it. With every new model that comes out, we relive the excitement of creating cutting-edge products.

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MARC SADLER

Milano, Italia



A man of the world, French citizen Sadler was born in Austria and has worked in France, the United States, Asia and Italy. One of the first people to receive a degree in industrial design in Paris, he’s a pioneer in material experimentation and technological crossover. Today he serves as a consultant for companies in a wide range of fields. He’s won the Italian Industrial Design Association’s prestigious Compasso d’Oro award four times as well as many other International prizes.

What inspired your piece?

Being a serious pool player, I have always been intrigued by the idea of creating a crystal pool table. I’d been bouncing this idea around in my head for a long time. One day I presented it to Gianfranco who was enthusiastic about it. He believed and trusted in me. Together we were able to make it a reality.

In designing this project, what aspect proved most difficult?

The biggest challenge was to combine the will to preserve the purity of the architecture lines in glass with the need to guarantee the stability of the table and to respect the game’s rules. Pool is a game of thought and concentration, but also an important piece of furniture.

What innovations resulted from this project?

For the realization of T1 we’ve used for example the expandable polymer for the nets and the bumpers. Other technologies have been made available from companies who’ve realized the components with a positive and collaborative spirit, for a great team work.

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