Melbourne Design Awards 2022

Award Driven x Design Better Future Awards
Design Piana Collection
Year 2022

Award Winner 2022

We are humbled that our Piana collection won silver in the 2022 Driven X Design Better Future awards.

The Piana collection is a design exploration by Australian designer Franco Crea in utilising an environmentally certified, high-performing material not commonly seen in loose furniture design. Piana offers a playful architectural form yet restrained minimalist aesthetic layered with its unique ability to be used both indoors and out.

Thanks to Better Future Awards and the jury for considering the Piana Collection. It is very special to be recognised for our designs in the Australian design community.

View our Piana Collection here.

Design Ethos

Piana was born from the pursuit to design furniture with planar Corian shapes for a playfully minimalist and sustainable approach to furniture design.

Retaining an emphasis on locally made, and minimised layers of energy and resource consumption, achieved an environmentally light footprint. This was a major focus of the design ethos.

Piana is designed as a coffee table and side table with a sculptural shape that transforms when admired from different angles. It also provides flexibility for indoor and outdoor use with its non-porous material qualities. Piana’s design is encouraged by Corian’s Red List free status, meaning it contains no nasty chemicals that pollute the environment, bio-accumulate up the food chain until they reach toxic concentrations, and/or are harmful to construction and factory workers. There is also complete transparency to Corian’s chemical composition via the third-party Declare program, best described as an ingredients label for building products. Coupled with this is its GreenGuard certification independently verifying its low VOC levels.

Whilst it seems obvious to create environmentally safe furniture, this is so often overlooked with mass-produced cost-driven furniture. This is a constant subject of further exploration in Franco’s work as a designer.

Discover Piana for your home

Design Innovation

With a sense of constant curiosity for materials more widely accepted in joinery and less frequently embraced in furniture design, Piana’s design is a deliberate exploration to bridge the gap.

High-performing materials that offer great benefits to end users such as anti-fingerprint technology and thermal properties to repair scratches with ease are sparsely seen in furniture design yet commonly used for kitchens and joinery. The benefits of these progressive materials are equally sensational for loose furniture, and Piana’s design is an exercise in innovating one of these materials to suit the nuances of furniture design. Choosing to work with the material Corian specifically, enhances a dialogue with designers and clients alike. When selecting the materials we surround ourselves with, it encourages us to consider options less obvious that have long-lasting environmental and user-friendly advantages and are lovely to live with.

Design Sustainability

Piana has been designed with longevity and a soft environmental impact front of mind to be good for the planet and its people.

By harnessing the attributes of its materiality as the cornerstone, coupled with distilling the layers of manufacture to the barest possible, Piana reduces the environmental imprint now and into the future.

The deliberate focus on making locally reduces the transportation carbon footprint and the renewable nature of the design means the pieces themselves can be rejuvenated to last beyond a lifetime avoiding landfill and energy consumption to replace them. The 100% recyclable nature of the material means that when the end of life does occur, it can be re-purposed.

This presents excellent value for the end user when their initial investment is divided over a lifetime of use and enjoyment. Piana is a design to buy once and buy well as an antidote to environmentally detrimental fast furniture trends.

Design Challenge

An integral part of the Piana collection was to develop a design that was sensitive to minimising the layers of energy and resource consumption needed during fabrication whilst still achieving a visually striking design.

There is great flexibility with the material Corian to thermo mould forms of infinite thickness and shape, however, this does in turn add additional energy and resource consumption.  Subsequently, the design challenge centered on creating a visually engaging collection within the confines of 12mm thick Corian. In its purest 12mm thick planar form, we were able to achieve a softer environmental imprint, a sculptural aesthetic, and flexibility for use inside and out.

Aesthetically light and balanced, Piana is an exploration and development of planar Corian shapes to overlap and intersect with a playfully minimalist approach, whilst still maintaining their structural integrity. Once the strengths and weaknesses of the material, coupled with distilled layers of fabrication were understood, Piana’s shape evolved to create a sculptural design that transforms when admired from different angles. Minimalist, restrained, and pure, Piana provides flexibility for indoor and outdoor settings, an environmentally light footprint, and a design that sits softly in its surroundings without overpowering.

Piana is a sculptural celebration of materiality offering clients a high-performing material, otherwise commonly overlooked for use in loose furniture, coupled with a restrained minimalist aesthetic to suit a variety of homes. The material’s non-porus qualities mean it is not restricted to inside and creates a wonderful opportunity to be enjoyed as a unique outdoor setting as well. The easily repairable nature of the material lends to a lifetime of enjoyment. And a deliberate emphasis on locally made and minimised layers of resource consumption embraces the essence of slow design made once and made well.

Showrooms

To experience our authentic Piana design, all locally designed and made in Adelaide and Melbourne, we encourage you to visit our Adelaide and Melbourne showrooms to experience your future heirlooms in person.

Melbourne showroom

259 Swan Street, Richmond, Victoria 3121

Adelaide showroom

442 Pulteney Street, Adelaide, South Australia 5000