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Cross-cultural Reflections

GamFratesi’s design takes its creative drive from a fusion of tradition and renewal and in an experimental approach to their chosen materials and techniques. The studio was founded in 2006 by danish architect Stine Gam and italian architect Enrico Fratesi.

The Ørgreen DNA is based on color. What is a design duo like GamFratesis DNA based on?

We have a profound respect for the Scandinavian masters of the past. Their work consists of quality, craftsmanship, and materials that are combined to make functional and honest design. The Italian masters, with their unique intellectual approach to design, are also a great source of inspiration for us. One could say that we draw on the traditions for classic Danish furniture and craftmanship, as well as the classical Italian, for a more conceptual approach.

Our philosophy is based on the ability to reduce a complex process into a few simple lines. We always seek to give our projects a story, and the choice of materials, and their sensory aspect, provide our projects with the narratives they need.

In our work and in our daily life we are constantly confronted with contrasts, and contrasts are often the centre of our inspiration. From our cross-cultural substrate, we create projects that respectfully reflects tradition while also featuring unique embedded stories, symbols and associations.

In your opinion, what comes first - design or colors, and why?

We don't think there is one single answer to that question. It depends on the project, and sometimes a color, or a material, can suggest a project or be something that helps us define a form. In general, we would say that, for us, the color comes later. We often start from a more abstract concept; a shape follows and then a careful and balanced series of colors are developed. Then, those colors become a fundamental element that identifies the design and completes it in every aspect. Color is harmony for us and the balance that must be created with the other elements is important and complex. That is why choosing color requires careful study.

How's your creative process?

The analogue process is very important to us. We use computers a lot as well, and are also skilled in the digital process, but it all starts with mind, paper and pen. It is never just a drawing that defines the design. You also need to study the physical form, the proportions, and the characteristics of the materials. Here, we work with models and prototypes, that are very useful tools in making our vision a reality. We have experienced in the workshop that even something very raw, can be beautiful - it is continuously evolving and changing.

Our philosophy is based on the ability to reduce a complex process into a few simple lines. We always seek to give our projects a story, and the choice of materials, and their sensory aspect, provide our projects with the narratives they need.

In our work and in our daily life we are constantly confronted with contrasts, and contrasts are often the centre of our inspiration. From our cross-cultural substrate, we create projects that respectfully reflects tradition while also featuring unique embedded stories, symbols and associations.

A more personal one if we may. How is it to work with your partner?

We work together closely through all the different stages of the creative and developing process. We share many of the same competences and interests and really appreciate our ability to work alongside one another. It is a rather symbiotic process, where we are both so involved, that it is often impossible to distinguish who started and finished what. We have different working methods since our educations and backgrounds are very different, but we have the same intention and direction on how design should relate to people and spaces. The result is an honest fusion of two cultures, and a work process that leads to an interesting result. We do not define whether a project is closer to the Scandinavian or Italian universe, it spontaneously takes its shape by combining our two personalities.

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