MANIFESTO

“Spaces and objects both project and impact our sense-of-self because they are in dialogue with our presence. Their materiality – the clean lines or curves, textures and finishes – can elucidate a sense of calm, vigour, freedom, freshness, warmth or even whimsicality. At Matter of Stuff our approach to producing design objects is deeply embedded in this constant dialogue.
Functional design objects have emerged in the last hundred years from the fusion of art and structural design. Today, they are at the height of their popularity after a relatively short history and offer tremendous room to explore and innovate within the category. Matter of Stuff has defined our own design manifesto to pay tribute to this opportunity to innovate and share the key values that connect everything we do, from our studio work, our research, our specialist services and our university seminars, to the curation of our shows and the layout of our materials library and our store.
Functional design objects have emerged in the last hundred years from the fusion of art and structural design. Today, they are at the height of their popularity after a relatively short history and offer tremendous room to explore and innovate within the category. Matter of Stuff has defined our own design manifesto to pay tribute to this opportunity to innovate and share the key values that connect everything we do, from our studio work, our research, our specialist services and our university seminars, to the curation of our shows and the layout of our materials library and our store.

Redefining Luxury


Quality should never be a luxury, it is the very ethics of design.

We reject the concept that crafted design is a luxury. For us, capturing an intangible moment of discovery is luxury. Attention to detail and workmanship when creating a design object from a high concept is not. Nor is this just a component of the design process; it is the very ethics of design. It is our ethics to put extensive time and care into the thoughtful development and completion of a design project. This includes paying our traditional Italian artisans fairly for their service and materials, which we do for bespoke objects and limited edition pieces, but also for open edition pieces. Our price-points do not reflect a luxury you can afford, but your investment in our design ethics.

Inclusivity vs. Exclusivity


Know the rules before you bend the rules.

We start with the premise that creating an exclusive design begins with inclusivity. Exclusivity is achieved by navigating certain rules before bending them to work for an innovative concept. And this cannot be done without collaboration and deep understanding. We began Matter of Stuff as a team of two with a wide network. But in the last five years we have transformed our connections into lasting relationships with people that share our vision, values and design ethics. Our difference lies in the way we have fostered relationships with artisans, designers, manufacturers, writers, teachers, students, artists, gallerists, architects, thinkers, web developers, chefs, and yoga instructors. Our work not only takes inspiration from all these practitioners, but continually learns from them. Through collaboration we connect dots that are not always evident.

Promising Intellectual Generosity


Beauty is not produced in a vacuum.

We reject intellectual greed and privation as we believe creativity only flourishes when information on production methodology and research is shared freely. We approach our work from the point of intellectual prosperity and therefore we are generous with our knowledge and research. We share our philosophy, research, and network with collaborators and clients, alike.

Debunking the Myth of Perfection


Imperfections are a symbol of craft.

In the post-industrial design era it is vital that we reclaim imperfections created through craft, not as defects, but by assigning a specific value to the making. Not just because hand crafting is a carefully executed and detail-oriented skill, but it is the basis of sustainable production. Slight differences between production batches are a healthy sign that an object is created to meet a specified demand, rather than an identical piece serially reproduced regardless of actual demand.

Decoding the Narrative of an Object


Design communicates stories.

At Matter of Stuff we combine international designer’s ideas and Italian artisan’s expertise. From the very onset, our mission is to decode the multiple narratives that exist between an object’s function and its feeling, its material and its craftsmanship, its empty and filled spaces, its physics and balance, its finish and its raw origins in the quarry. As such, we are collaborators, co-conspirators, researchers and, ultimately, the enablers of a design idea. One hand feeds the other and the synergy between the two hands creates objects with many stories to tell. In fact, it’s the stories behind every object that makes them special. The thinking and the making of a product together communicate more than just materials and shapes.

Integrity in Sourcing


Working with like-minded people.

Forging links between Italian craftsmen, raw material producers, new product innovators, artists, architects and interior designers, we bring together the most creative minds with the most skilled team to design and create bespoke and sustainably produced objects and furniture from concept right through to execution. Our book of production partners specifically contains small to medium scale, family-run artisanal factories in Italy who understand our ethics and philosophy and actively take part in the research of tailor made solutions. When a family-run business is not a viable option, we opt for networks of artisans or cooperatives that value teamwork, share resources and reinvest their profits in R&D and technology.

Highlighting Materiality


A sense of touch reflects a sense of taste.

Materiality is at the core of our approach, the starting point of our research and the aim of the physical objects we produce. The haptic qualities of materials, together with the aesthetic illusions new materials create in both viewer and user generate a new and unexpected sense of beauty. Seeing a new material for the first time generates fascination that comes from uncertainty. What is it made of? Is it natural? Is it carved, painted, laquered? These are the questions we are frequently asked when presenting new materials or objects, and we love to explain the insights that cast new light on their potential uses. We also love to open the doors to our partner factories and workshops and mining facilities to reconnect to the source of the materials we present to our clients to remind ourselves where things come from and bare in mind the integrity of their origins. Natural marble, for instance, is soft and easily scratches. It can only be found in a few select regions of the world and is already a transformed material through pressure and sedimentation. Here lies its transformative potential, depending on how it is cut and finished.

Redefining Luxury


Quality should never be a luxury, it is the very ethics of design.

We reject the concept that crafted design is a luxury. For us, capturing an intangible moment of discovery is luxury. Attention to detail and workmanship when creating a design object from a high concept is not. Nor is this just a component of the design process; it is the very ethics of design. It is our ethics to put extensive time and care into the thoughtful development and completion of a design project. This includes paying our traditional Italian artisans fairly for their service and materials, which we do for bespoke objects and limited edition pieces, but also for open edition pieces. Our price-points do not reflect a luxury you can afford, but your investment in our design ethics.

Inclusivity vs. Exclusivity


Know the rules before you bend the rules.

We start with the premise that creating an exclusive design begins with inclusivity. Exclusivity is achieved by navigating certain rules before bending them to work for an innovative concept. And this cannot be done without collaboration and deep understanding. We began Matter of Stuff as a team of two with a wide network. But in the last five years we have transformed our connections into lasting relationships with people that share our vision, values and design ethics. Our difference lies in the way we have fostered relationships with artisans, designers, manufacturers, writers, teachers, students, artists, gallerists, architects, thinkers, web developers, chefs, and yoga instructors. Our work not only takes inspiration from all these practitioners, but continually learns from them. Through collaboration we connect dots that are not always evident.

Promising Intellectual Generosity


Beauty is not produced in a vacuum.

We reject intellectual greed and privation as we believe creativity only flourishes when information on production methodology and research is shared freely. We approach our work from the point of intellectual prosperity and therefore we are generous with our knowledge and research. We share our philosophy, research, and network with collaborators and clients, alike.

Debunking the Myth of Perfection


Imperfections are a symbol of craft.

In the post-industrial design era it is vital that we reclaim imperfections created through craft, not as defects, but by assigning a specific value to the making. Not just because hand crafting is a carefully executed and detail-oriented skill, but it is the basis of sustainable production. Slight differences between production batches are a healthy sign that an object is created to meet a specified demand, rather than an identical piece serially reproduced regardless of actual demand.

Decoding the Narrative of an Object


Design communicates stories.

At Matter of Stuff we combine international designer’s ideas and Italian artisan’s expertise. From the very onset, our mission is to decode the multiple narratives that exist between an object’s function and its feeling, its material and its craftsmanship, its empty and filled spaces, its physics and balance, its finish and its raw origins in the quarry. As such, we are collaborators, co-conspirators, researchers and, ultimately, the enablers of a design idea. One hand feeds the other and the synergy between the two hands creates objects with many stories to tell. In fact, it’s the stories behind every object that makes them special. The thinking and the making of a product together communicate more than just materials and shapes.

Integrity in Sourcing


Working with like-minded people.

Forging links between Italian craftsmen, raw material producers, new product innovators, artists, architects and interior designers, we bring together the most creative minds with the most skilled team to design and create bespoke and sustainably produced objects and furniture from concept right through to execution. Our book of production partners specifically contains small to medium scale, family-run artisanal factories in Italy who understand our ethics and philosophy and actively take part in the research of tailor made solutions. When a family-run business is not a viable option, we opt for networks of artisans or cooperatives that value teamwork, share resources and reinvest their profits in R&D and technology.

Highlighting Materiality


A sense of touch reflects a sense of taste.

Materiality is at the core of our approach, the starting point of our research and the aim of the physical objects we produce. The haptic qualities of materials, together with the aesthetic illusions new materials create in both viewer and user generate a new and unexpected sense of beauty. Seeing a new material for the first time generates fascination that comes from uncertainty. What is it made of? Is it natural? Is it carved, painted, laquered? These are the questions we are frequently asked when presenting new materials or objects, and we love to explain the insights that cast new light on their potential uses. We also love to open the doors to our partner factories and workshops and mining facilities to reconnect to the source of the materials we present to our clients to remind ourselves where things come from and bare in mind the integrity of their origins. Natural marble, for instance, is soft and easily scratches. It can only be found in a few select regions of the world and is already a transformed material through pressure and sedimentation. Here lies its transformative potential, depending on how it is cut and finished.