Maddalena Casadei — from architecture to product design

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Maddalena Casadei is a product designer who has come to the discipline from an architectural background. This grounding must surely have lent her a deeper understanding of the spacial relationships between her designed pieces and their surrounding interiors, and their relation to the human body. Casadei has completed the Master in Design at Domus Academy. After collaborating with James Irvine, and then Marialaura Rossiello Irvine for over ten years, the designer took the plunge and opened her own business earlier this year.

Though product design takes the prime spot in her portfolio, Casadei’s skill set extends into set and exhibition design and art direction. This means that she is able to style and direct her shoots of her designs on her own, without hiring an external contractor. It is a toolkit useful to acquire for any independent designer, as it allows for more autonomy and creative control. You are the expert on your product after all.

Some of Maddalena Cascade’s recent projects include Bunchy, Sakti, and a Vanity Set for Wallpaper* Magazine. All three are collaborations with with Marialaura Rossiello Irvine. Bunchy is a small forest of wooden vessels made from pale wood. The cylindrical containers stand tall, their elongated interior painted with the distinctive colours of either white, black, or yellow. Sakti is a Scandinavian influenced elegant table on trestles that easily comes apart for transportation, or simply for a different table-top, if it strikes your fancy. Vanity Set is a contemporary update on the traditional collection of grooming tools. Instead of using illegal and cruel ivory, the designers chose avoriolina, a substitute of similar colour and feel that is made from a mixture of cellulose and ground animal bone. The Wallpaper* asterisk, eye, mouth, or the profile of one of the designers replace the traditional cameo as playful alternatives. This variety of work reflects Casadei’s diverse portfolio, which you can find here.