Coinciding with its 60th anniversary, Gruppo Saviola participates in the Salone del Mobile for the first time with an installation created in partnership with international design and innovation office CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati and architect Italo Rota. Titled Wood You Believe?, its façade is composed of four tons of discarded objects to showcase the full process of transformation of wood waste. The project also features an immersive room highlighting the potential of digital printing in realizing impactful and sustainable bespoke designs. The project will be exhibited at Fiera Milano (Pavilion 10, C04) between April 18 and 23, 2023.
Gruppo Saviola was ahead of its time when it started producing ecological panels from recycled wood in the 1990s. Its decades-long endeavor culminates in the installation at Salone del Mobile 2023 that imagines future scenarios in interior design.
Wood You Believe? is a cubical structure in which each façade features a set of modular claddings, above which scrapped wooden desks, chairs, pallets, fruit crates, and other wooden objects are stacked together. Recreating what one would see in a wood recycling facility, these three-dimensional collages serve as a reminder of the colossal amount of waste produced by the furniture industry. By reintegrating everyday objects into our living spaces, the design complies with the principles of the Circular Economy to stretch their longevity and functionality beyond their intended life cycles.
“Our industrial production line has become a benchmark for design through its advanced technology and quality. The ecological panels are highly versatile, encompassing 70,000 different patterns and textures,” Alessandro Saviola, President of Gruppo Saviola, said. “At the core of our products is a sense of commitment to sustainability. The use of post-consumer wood eliminates the need of cutting down trees – ten thousand of them have been saved every day thanks to that.”
“The use-and-dispose consumption pattern is one of the main underlying causes of the environmental problems we are facing now,” says Carlo Ratti, founding partner of CRA and director of MIT Senseable City Lab. “Wood You Believe? taps into an enormous pool of resources that has always been available to us. With the support of digital technologies, what was made redundant becomes something to treasure.”
The interior space of the pavilion accentuates Saviola’s use of advanced fabrication technologies in the production of customized panels. Passing through the portal, visitors are transported into an immersive space constructed out of more than one hundred panels from the brand’s trademarked “pannello ecologico” technology. Made of fully recycled wood, these panels are digitally treated to display a wide range of textured finishes that complement different design typologies. Using artificial intelligence tools, CRA and Rota generated an abstract landscape that highlights the product’s design potential.
“Our collaboration with Gruppo Saviola shows that design aspires to reduce waste and is simultaneously inspired by it,” says Rota. “The catalyst behind the monumental pavilion façade is a desire to salvage nature through the use of advanced artificial devices.”
Wood You Believe? is built by CRA Make, the design and construction unit of CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati.
Wood You Believe?
A project by CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati and Italo Rota for Gruppo Saviola
CRA team: Carlo Ratti, Jelena Krco, Gary di Silvio, Pasquale Milieri, Gianluca Zimbardi
CRA Make team: Mykola Murashko (CTO), Sara Zampieron, Marco Guarany, Mohamed Yasser Hariss
Graphic design: Studio FM Milano
Location: C04, Pavilion 10, Salone del Mobile, Fiera Milano
Date: 18-23 April 2023