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We report here the interview with the architect Gabriele Centazzo for: ‘Le Fabbriche del design’ (from Casa&Design of Repubblica)


The distinguishing elements of the Artematica kitchen are inspired by the special attention paid to environmental topics; is this something new or is it a trend you have always followed?

«I have been basing my work on dematerialisation for more than twenty years; we live on an Earth in which 15% of the inhabitants consume 85% of the resources, the other 85% would like to consume just as much but there just isn’t enough for everyone. It is thus necessary to reduce the quantity of energy consumed to make products and services, and this is exactly what dematerialisation allows. When I started working in this direction, designing the first 5 mm thick aluminium door twenty years ago, it wasn’t possible to talk about eco-compatibility or low impact on the environment because these topics were not as important as they are today».

What elements in the Artematica kitchen transform the dematerialisation concept into something tangible?

«The door, the top and the carcass are all produced respecting the three main principles of recyclability, dematerialisation and durability; the latter is very important because an eco-compatible and recyclable element that is not durable is practically useless because more energy will soon be needed to produce another one. The kitchen we will be presenting at Eurocucina 2008 is, in fact, 100% recyclable».

Which features contained in Artematica make us talk about high technology?

«The door is the star, even in the hi-tech field. Our intention was that of changing the actual door concept by dividing the two elements that are traditionally joined together, i.e. the technical structure with its aluminium frame and the finishing element consisting in a very slim aluminium panel. Of course, in doing this, we have not neglected beauty. In fact, we have produced the first door with an invisible aluminium frame in order to achieve a kitchen in glass with pure volumes».

One last question concerning the choice of the name; what inspired you?

«The name comes from a combination of the words “art” and “mathematics”: art, because when producing this kitchen, we used an inlay technique on glass to which some artists contributed. This process was inspired by handicraft tradition that makes it possible to customise each single kitchen by means of decors suggested by young artists, by the designer or by anyone wanting to use his/her creativity to produce an original drawing. Then again, Mate is short for Maths and is used to emphasise the hi-tech side of the Artematica kitchen».


In nature, substances circulate, are transformed and, in the end, everything is reabsorbed and reused. We also have to learn how to reduce the quantity of rubbish we produce and favor the reuse and recycling of materials in every possible way, also because the resources we have are limited. Valcucine has devised the simplest and most complete recyclability of its products by designing them so that the elements of which they are composed can be easily identified and separated when discarded. The plastic parts are marked so that they can be easily identified at the end of their life cycle. To promote recycling of its products, Valcucine is working on having them picked up in the future and on the total recovery of the materials of which they are composed. An example is the new base units that are made entirely of glass and aluminum: completely recyclable and with no toxic emissions.


Many years of research into materials and their limits of resistance have permitted Valcucine to gauge the structures of its products down to the essential to create objects that are the utmost expression of design based on a minimum consumption of raw materials and energy, i.e. on the philosophy of dematerialisation.

The most significant example is the micro-layered and extra-light door of the Riciclantica program, composed of an aluminum structural frame with minimum cross-section bars that are extremely sturdy and by a finishing panel that is only 2mm thick made using construction technologies taken from the car industry.

Valcucine has also worked on the dematerialisation of worktops that also have an aluminum structural frame to which a thin glass, steel, laminate, cristalite or stone top is added. The special shape and resistance of the frame make it possible to drastically reduce the quantity of matter of which the top is made (e.g. the laminate top saves 60% of the materials normally used).

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