sole-11-00811I recently met Jody Mattioli, a young artist who designs and hand-makes the most exceptional metal objects. I was struck by the originality of his sole wine rack in particular (see photo), and think it would make an excellent last minute Christmas gift. You can buy his pieces in the ZeroZeroDesign online shop and he will ship internationally.

Here’s his answers to my interview questions.

1) How do you define yourself? are you an artist? designer? photographer? artisan/producer?

It’s pretty difficult to define my work. The best word to represent me is definatively “creative”. My work spans object design, photography, graphics, fashion, and video, and I’m open to everything that might stimulate my imagination.


Are you still studying/ where did  you study design?

My vision of the world is certainly closely related to my studies: I have a solid technical base from having studied engineering for a few years before moving over to the arts (facoltà di Lettere) where I am pursuing a degree in “Linguaggi Multimediali e Ricerca Tendenze” that addresses the arts, philosphy, and aesthetics.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I think I’m heading in the right direction; I just want to continue as I have been by continuing to develop my work.

jm-00416-geniusYou have three beautiful objects for sale on your website, all of which you made this year Let’s talk a bit about the process of making them – material, process, and production.

The project ZeroZeroDesign began as a challenge to myself to make public works that I created for my own use. Most of the objects I make are in iron and steel, with which I have a strong connection, although I also work in plastic. All the objects are made in my father’s metalworking company, thanks to which I have access to advanced technologies like a laser to cut my objects. Despite this technological aspect, the products that I make as ZeroZeroDesign are limited, artisanal and manual. I think it is interesting, in fact, to be able to meld artisan production with high design.


You mentioned that your father is a metal worker. Did this influence your choice of medium? How big is your factory? what else do you make?

Indeed, the choice to work in metal does depend on my exposure to and strong link with metal thanks to my father, who has a precision mechanics company. For more than 25 years they have produced iron objects. Thus was born my extreme confidence with iron, steel, and aluminium.

When you design something like this – let’s take the “sole” wine rack for example – what factors do you keep in mind?

For me, design is a challenge that involves coming up with and creating something that is both functional and useful, but also that has a complex and stimulating aesthetic and conceptual aspect. Usually a product starts out of need – like making a coat rack – after which I study the best solution that compromises between function and beauty.

I asked jody to send me a photo and this is what he gets when he doesn't answer :-)
I asked jody to send me a photo and this is what he gets when he doesn’t answer :-)

One of the most interesting aspects of my work, both with design and photography, is to watch and analyse how people interact with the object. This often leads to new points of view, new needs and ideas.

Jody also has a really cool street style photography blog.

All photos copyright Jody Mattioli except this one which i took from his facebook profile!

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