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SACI Students Work with Radical Design Artist Lapo Binazzi

Lapo Binazzi/UFO, MGM Lamp, Dollar Lamp, Paramount Lamp
From the exhibition Radical Utopias at Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, 2017
 

Lapo Binazzi offers guidance to SACI students 

Lapo Binazzi and sculpture professor John Taylor help SACI students create the plaster mold

The red chicken ready for the oven.

Working on the yellow chicken.

The Red Chicken

SACI students work with radical design artist Lapo Binazzi to produce design objects for his upcoming exhibition in the SACI Gallery

SACI ceramics and sculpture students have had the incredible opportunity to work with Lapo Binazzi, a founding member of the radical architecture collective UFO, founded in the 1960's, leading up to his exhibition The Philosophy of the Roasted Chicken, opening October 24th in the SACI Gallery.

In the history of Italian design, the “radical period” refers to a time when Italian architects and designers worked together to express utopian ideas through industrial design, fashion, performance art, and temporary architectural installations. UFO, an Italian radical design collective from the 1960s, created works that ranged from ephemeral, inflatable structures to long-lasting works such as Lapo Binazzi's Dollaro, a table lamp with a dollar sign base. The Italian Radical Design movement sought to propose alternatives to the norm and to critique commercialism.

During Spring, Summer, and Fall 2019 terms, SACI ceramics and sculpture students have had the incredible opportunity to work with Lapo Binazzi, one of UFO's founding members, to (re)create one of his radical design works: The Philosophy of the Roasted Chicken. The ongoing project consists of producing three large ceramic sculptures of a roasted chicken in bright colors that will be transformed into radical design lamps and included in Lapo's upcoming exhibition.

January 30
Lapo Binazzi presents his work, research, and teaching experience to SACI students, touching on the original idea behind the choice of the project's subject – the roasted chicken – which dates back to the first radical architecture happening in San Giovanni Valdarno in 1968.

January 31
No time to lose. Our Spring Term 2019 ceramics students have already begun to create a clay sculpture of a giant chicken. They will use it to create the plaster mold from which the three ceramic sculptures will be casted.

February 11-15
This week, SACI ceramics and sculpture students have been working hard on The Philosophy of the Roasted Chicken radical design project with Lapo Binazzi. The students, with the help of ceramics instructor Lisa Nocentini and sculpture instructor John Taylor, have created a plaster mold using the clay sculpture they created earlier this semester. Once the mould is dry and ready to use, the students will use it to cast the three roasted-chicken shaped lamp bases.

February 28
The Philosophy of a Roasted Chicken project, in collaboration with artist Lapo Binazzi, has been a huge success so far. We are grateful that many students have had the opportunity to work with Lapo over the past few months. We would like to thank Lapo for his guidance and collaboration as well as SACI sculpture and ceramics students Quinn DeRuiter, Benjamin Feder, Ruby Sgueglia, Paulina Zuckerman, Ruth Biswas, Nhi Le, and Lucia Simental for all their hard work this semester!

March 7
The first roasted chicken sculpture is out of the mold and ready for the oven. What a birthday gift for Lapo Binazzi! Thank you all for your hard work.

April 17
Finally, the glazed, green roasted chicken sculpture is finished, and the artist, Lapo Binazzi, can begin designing the first lamp.

May 24
The green chicken has become a design object. With the addition of a designer lamp shade Lapo Binazzi purchased in Venice, the chicken has been transformed into an elegant designer lamp. It will illuminate the SACI administration office while waiting to be exhibited in the SACI Gallery in October 2019.

June 6
The red chicken is ready for the oven. A big thank you to Lisa Nocentini and the fantastic Late Spring 2019 Term students William Johnson, Sierra Leach, Darby Bouweiri for your enthusiasm for this project.

July 4
Inspired by this important celebration, the students are preparing the red roasted chicken sculpture for glazing. Lapo is preparing another kind of shade for this red chicken, an aureola, inspired by the play on words since included in the name of Sant'Apollonia, the saint protector of the dental care, pollo meaning chicken in Italian language. Many of Lapo Binazzi’s previous works have been based on the semantic shifts of word meanings, such as the famous Paramount Lamp/Sculpture produced for the first time by Lapo Binazzi/UFO in 1970s, where the famous film corporation has its logo revisited into mountain (Mount) that is protected by an umbrella (Parasole/pioggia), as parare in Italian means to protect from.

August 5
Finally, after some setbacks during the dying process, the red chicken is glazed and will soon become a design object. Thank you, Lisa Nocentini.

Following a short August break, our Fall 2019 ceramic students will have a lot to do. They'll have a chance to work in a new ceramics workshop in Palazzo dei Cartelloni, helping Lapo Binazzi create the yellow chicken lamp sculpture and prepare for his upcoming October exhibition.

September 19
​​​​​​Yellow Chicken is in the mold! We're almost there. 

September 25
Working on the Yellow Chicken.

 

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