A Destined Encounter: Michele De Lucchi Meets Zanat

We are delighted to announce a new design collaboration with esteemed Michele De Lucchi. It started with a meeting between Mr. De Lucchi and Zanat CEO Orhan Niksic in October 2019 in Milan.  The first creations of this two-year-in-the-making collaboration are finally out and both parties are most pleased with what has been accomplished.

The meeting between Zanat and Michele De Lucchi is emotionally alike to a chance encounter of soulmates who could spend an eternity talking about a topic they had previously thought belonged exclusively to the island of their solitude.  The topics that made this encounter almost inevitable are, of course, wood and craftsmanship in the first place, but also a shared passion for art and design.

According to Michele De Lucchi, “artisanship is not only a central theme of the debate on modernity, but also a very current lifestyle in this digital era.  Doing things with your hands is still crucial to obtain a life of balance.”  These very ideas have been the essence behind the four-generation old woodcarving tradition in the Niksic family, the owners of Zanat.  “This kind of thinking is what prompted me to leave my previous job and to launch Zanat, a design brand that defined trends at the time.  My brother and I wanted to demonstrate that craftsmanship will always be relevant and were determined to preserve the woodcarving tradition of our ancestors, now inscribed on the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity.  When I read about Michele De Lucchi’s work and thinking, I knew that we had to meet,” said Orhan Niksic.

After Michele De Lucchi learned about Zanat and what we are doing he called us heroes and gladly accepted our collaboration invitation.  “I will not design a chair or table for you, many people can do that, I would like to do something that will make you even more heroic,” said De Lucchi.

Indeed, the first creation of our collaboration with Michele De Lucchi and his associates at AMDL Circle is not a piece of furniture or interior decoration object.  It is a piece of fine art: a sculptural plate called Dom.  While one clearly sees artistic value in  each piece of furniture and each accessory from Zanat, the plates designed by Michele De Lucchi are the first object Zanat has created with exclusively artistic value and no utilitarian function.

Dom plates are a meticulously crafted sculpture resembling a star map guiding us home. The profound appeal of Dom plates is to be found in brilliantly designed geometry, meticulously executed details–which bear witness to enduring value of fine craftsmanship, and the warmth and tactility of solid wood.

For De Lucchi “the real topic of the time is to investigate—and to better understand in a theoretical way—the difference between temporality and eternity, what has to be temporary and what has to be permanent.” In this way, Dom (meaning “Home” in Bosnian) is the eternal origin and the destination.

The hand-carved textures engraved into the wood by Zanat’s master craftsman catch the light beautifully in a way that emphasizes the tactility and geometry of these multi-polygonal objects. Dom plates will come in 50, 70, and 100cm diameter and will be made in a couple of precious Bosnian hardwoods.

With Dom, Michelle De Lucchi has once again revealed to us both his genius and the inseparable connection between art and craft, the past and the future.

This is just the beginning of what portends a long-lasting dialogue on design and craftsmanship and new products as a result.   New creations of our collaborations with Michele De Lucchi will soon be launched.

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