Bally Artist 2015

Giulio Parini

Bally Artist 2015

Giulio Parini’s oeuvre straddles the border between art and design. The Bally Foundation was titillated by the designer’s ethical sensitivity in his selection of raw materials and his meticulous handcrafting in creating waste-reduced objects that are as artistically beautiful as they are functional and minimalist.

Giulio Parini was born in Lugano, Switzerland, in 1984. He obtained his BA in Product Design from Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan in 2008, and a Masters Degree in Product Design from École Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne (ECAL), Switzerland, in 2012. Giulio Parini was recipient of the Bally Artist Award in 2015. He currently lives and works in Geneva.

The designer pays particular attention to his choice of raw materials, often including glass and wood, allowing the components to suggest the final design. For his "Metallodolce" lighting line, he works with ultra-thin metals that combine the durability of metal with the subtle finesse of origami paper. Furthermore, the ultra-light material reduces waste, transport and storage costs, and the overall environmental footprint.

Parini is inspired by the poetic thoughts of Italian authors such as Enzo Mari or Achille Castiglioni and greatly influenced by the multifaceted figure of Bruno Munari and the quintessence of Swiss design such as that present in the work of Kurt Thut. More recent artistic endeavors have seen the artist engage with glass. Molded in a molten state, he decorates the material with a secondary solid substance, pulverized during the subsequent blowing phase, rendering unexpected results dependent on the movements and gestures performed during this delicate phase of the process.

"Metallodolce – Ritualis"
Photogravure, ultrathin flexible bronze sheet
10 cm, Ø 4 cm; 9 cm, Ø 4; 4 cm, Ø 4 cm
Photo Simone Cavadini

"Metallodolce" is an ambitious project developed by Giulio Parini. He produces smart and environmentally responsible lighting designs, using a carving technique on bronze or brass sheets, reduced to a tenth of a millimetre in thickness, these result to be as thin as a sheet of paper. His designs are the result of an efficient production process: superfluous material is eliminated, allowing the beauty of the form and its material to shine through. Metallodolce products are packed in flat envelopes for delivery, significantly reducing environmental impact. Giulio Parini’s Metallodolce was the winning entry of the Bally Artist Award in 2015. The grant obtained allowed him to industrialize the production of these objects.

"Ritualis" is a series of nine candleholders crafted from a single sheet of bronze. The ultra-thin bronze sheet wraps around the candle like a lace mask, embellishing the candlelight and creating a play of shadows.