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Elisa Ossino’s “techno-archaic” design approach

For Italian designer Elisa Ossino, the future of design is at the convergence of nature and technology. We chat with her at V-ZUG’s Fluxus installation during Salone del Mobile to learn about how this philosophy is permeating many parts of design.

The world of design is a vast and ever-evolving landscape, constantly seeking new ways to captivate and inspire. In the heart of this creative realm, designer Elisa Ossino stands as a visionary force, seamlessly melding nature and technology to create unique experiences. With a strong focus on conceptualisation and an unwavering commitment to detail, Ossino’s approach aligns perfectly with V-ZUG’s philosophy.

Elisa Ossino - "Techno Archaic" design approach
Photography by Daniel Farò

At the core of Ossino’s design approach lies the power of a strong concept. She believes that profound reflection is necessary before embarking on any design endeavour. This multidisciplinary approach, honed through her experiences working with multimedia artists – or “storytellers” as she describes them – comes through in every aspect of her work.

In this era of technological advancement and an increasing need to reconnect with nature, Ossino envisions a dual direction for the future of design. She recognises the growing importance of forging a stronger bond between humanity and the natural world while embracing the integration of technology into our daily lives. As a design educator, Ossino actively guides her students towards a blend of technology and design, preparing them for the evolving landscape of the future.

Drawing inspiration from the inherent beauty of nature, Ossino believes that sustainability and the circular economy can coexist harmoniously with technology. To counterbalance the digital overload that has characterised the pandemic years, she seeks to infuse designs with the essence of nature. Natural colour palettes and tactile materials become vehicles for re-establishing a tangible connection with our surroundings. Ossino understands the innate human desire to touch and feel; and her designs tap into this need for sensory experiences, bridging the gap between the archaic and the futuristic – or as she has coined “techno-archaic”.

“I really love the circle. The circle is the perfect shape because it doesn’t have a beginning. It doesn’t have an end. It also lets you reflect about circularity. It was the perfect symbol to work with V-ZUG,” she says. Adding, “last year we introduced nature inside a circle and this year it’s about bringing people inside the circle. For Fluxus, we observe a kind of microcosm of nature inside the circle. We wanted to bring people inside the space and to create a strong emotional connection,” says Ossino.

It’s a symbol of infinity and endless possibilities, aligning with V-ZUG’s pursuit for refined design, expressed most acutely in the CircleSlider design on the new Excellence line .

Photography by Melania dalle Grave

For Ossino, design is a deeply personal and emotional journey. When working on a project she finds inspiration in nature. “I spend a long period very close to nature. It allows me to suspend time and deeply reflect. There is something magic about it, because after a few days being totally immersed in nothing, the emotions come very quickly in my mind. If you have your mind open, then creativity arrives, and I have a lot of visions.”

The collaboration between Ossino and V-ZUG has beautiful synergy. Ossino is enamoured with V-ZUG’s beautifully minimalistic designs, respect for craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail. These shared values create a respect that enhances their collaboration, resulting in stunning and meaningful outcomes. The true culmination of this will be when the V-ZUG Milan studio opens its doors in 2024, which Ossino is currently designing. It’s set to be a space of conceptual inspiration.

Closing the circle – V-ZUG’s 2022 installation by artist Stefano Roveda and sound designer Stefano Messina

Ossino’s unwavering dedication to the power of concept, her ability to intertwine technology and nature seamlessly, and her profound emotional connection with her craft make her a force to be reckoned with in the design world. With each project, Ossino continues to push the boundaries of creativity, creating experiences that transcend the ordinary and bring the essence of nature into the 21st century.

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