And it is a worthy recipient of this distinction. The Carmen Collection carries the signature of one of the true greats in Italian design: Alessandro Mendini. It stands out for its powerful use of vibrant colours, very much a signature of Mendini’s work. Mendini, known for his fun, colourful and emotional design, was once dubbed The Carmen Miranda of Design by a British design journalist; so this range’s name is doubly appropriate. Mendini was awarded the highly prestigious Compasso d’Oro for Design in both 1979 and 1981. His international reputation was confirmed when the French government made him a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.
Believed to be a first in the ceramic sector, Carmen features large elongated rhombus-shaped porcelain pieces to make up a kind of playful mosaic in eight plain yet festive tones. The design concept evolved from a fabric design by Mendini that was inspired by Italian design from the 1950s. It features a simple yet expressive geometric form: the rhombus. The bold colours were inspired by the Aleichem mask: a famous medieval marionette that sported bright multi-coloured clothing.
Carmen will officially make its debut at Salone del Mobile in Milan in April, where Portinari will be the only Brazilian factory to exhibit. The collection is the latest fruit of Mendini’s highly successful partnership with A Lot Of Brazil and its designer Pedro Franco; providing further evidence of the powerful design synergy that has developed between the two men.
A new post by Joe Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, March 2018.