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Vincenzo De Cotiis

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From 3 to 15 june 2009
Sofia Design Week

Vincenzo De Cotiis
"progetto domestico"

After completing his studies at the Istituto d’Arte, Vincenzo de Cotiis, born in Mantua, graduated
in Architecture from the Milan Polytechnic.
The interest in what were to become the trademarks of De Cotiis’ work as an architect and interior
and fashion designer was already apparent from his early designs: the extremely fl exible materials,
the recovery of vintage pieces and textiles, given a new lease of life with unusual combinations
and colours that blended into the material.
The interior designer for the Hotel STRAF in Milan, which opened in 2004, De Cotiis has put his
name to many stores such as Antonia in Milan, Folli Follie in Brescia, Vinicio in Lissone, Pozzi Lei
in Monza and Treviglio, Tessabit in Como, Hotel in Bologna, Sugar in Arezzo, Joffre in Barcelona,
the multi-label “PBox” accessory stores by Aeffe, and Vertice in Turin, Nick&Sons of M. Marittima,
the new format of the new Alberta Ferretti's shops.
The main distinctive feature of De Cotiis’ interior design is the choice and use of materials, colours,
and shapes - especially how they are put together. There is a careful search for surfaces that
give a sense of the nature of the material, often combined with elements related to the past, in a
reinterpretation with a decidedly modern feel.
His approach to interior design is focused on the atmosphere of the premises. The resulting need
to create specially designed furnishings and decorations stems from a kind of intuition, in other
words the evolved clientele’s need to look at objects that are not stereotyped but have a strong
identity. The deep-rooted craftsmanship that typifi es Vincenzo De Cotiis’ work in interiors and
furnishings inevitably make his designs similar to works of art, in terms of their exclusivity and
When defi ning the overall style of Vincenzo De Cotiis as an interior designer, the concept of
minimalism crops up again and again, almost as a contracted form rather than a self-contained
concept. In any event, interiors designed by De Cotiis show a marked tendency towards
environments with a few high-impact elements, a theme that is characteristic of our times.
However it is not a reduced form of minimalism, since the symbology of the decoration, intended
to be a true style, has a kind of fascination for De Cotiis, who personally creates all the objects
and decorations, which always require production and assembly by hand.
Light, colour and material defi ne the atmosphere, infl uencing people and things. This is why, in
each new concept, the value comes more from the setting than from the decoration, in line with
a philosophy where an object without a context would lose its meaning. The object needs its
environment; the two things complement each other.
His preference for interiors with an industrial origin is the result of a type of environment dating
back to the early twentieth century, featuring two basic elements: the large dimensions and the
marks of the passage of time.
Within a contemporary vision of architecture and design, De Cotiis uses materials with an innate
tangible essence, favouring renovation of those elements that have preserved the charm of the
patina of time that infl uences not only the colour, but also the appearance of the surfaces.
He has always been fascinated by the fl avour of history, which also arouses a desire to introduce
new, personal touches into settings from a past era, sometimes even in a decadent style.
«I think of the hotel STRAF almost as an “installation”, a concept used as a starting point for a
choice of materials with many references to modern artistic trends such as Arte Povera. My way
of handling these materials comes from a design method that is closely linked to ethics/aesthetics.
This method is based on re-using “recovered” objects and furnishings in new settings».
The key to the unusual atmosphere of the Hotel STRAF is the use of materials. Initially chosen
for their natural colouring, they are transformed by hand, picturing the fi nal effect that the light
will create when it refl ects off their surfaces as a result of the treatments and processes, many of
which are experimental. In this way, the concrete used for staircases and fl oors, the burnished
brass, slate split along the grain, the gauzes, aged and then hand-torn, enclosed between glass
plates to create self-lighting features, give a warm atmosphere despite the harsh materials which
are often taken from an industrial context. There is a marked preference for the “unfi nished”
aspects, since every detail and fi nish undergoes sophisticated treatments.

Cassina Italy

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Within Sofia Design Week Sklada presents Cassina.
Cocktail-Monday 13-06-2011 - 19.00