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Concept - Spring/Summer 2005

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Via Solferino: Functional Art + Design Store

Why own a piece of artwork that has no purpose when you can have both form and aesthetics? From Formose in Piedi, cabinets appearing to be a streamlined flat piece of art to lights by Le Meduse, which are made of recycled glass without resorting to heating to Bruno Reinaldi's unconventional bookcase Ptolomeo, this store teems with brilliant pieces. Art has risen to new heights of functionality in today's design world, shedding the misconception that it can only be appreciated from a distance. Miami's design district, Via Solferino: Functional Art + Design is on the forefront of this trend with its wide array of ultra contemporary designs. All pieces are handpicked by principal Simona Ciancetta, and can be appreciated not only for their fascinating designs but also the fact that they are completely usable in every day life.

After carousing the gallery, there is an unmistakable emphasis on materials and textures. Ms. Ciancetta feels resources such as resin, stone or plastic are replacing older materials such as wood or rattan. She tends to concentrate on designers who like to experiment with new materials or utilize old materials in new ways. This focus helps reinforce Simona's reputation as a talented business owner with an ability to satisfy the progressive taste of her clients, who range from business professionals to architects to interior designers.

The store is a bright open gallery space that begs your eye to wander its contents. Immersed in design her entire life and trained at the School of Design in Milan, Simona has a finesse for choosing unique and unusual pieces. Her store reflects a balance of functional art pieces with a splash of eclectic, ethnic and cultural influence. As she puts it, she chooses "simple pieces with a soul that make you want to live and feel it." Some favorite and often chosen designers are Ross Love Grove, Francesco Binfare, Campana Brothers, Martin Van Severen and Massimo Morozzi. The most popular piece in the gallery is Francesco Binfare's sofa, which is currently featured at MOMA in New York in the permanent section of Modern Art. Ptolomeo, created by designer Bruno Reinaldi, was recently nominated for the Compasso D'Oro award as well.

Avant-garde store enjoys a warm welcome from the South Florida design community, which has said goodbye to the era of pure and simple design and hello to the arena of functionality and form. Enter, Via Solferino: Functional Art and Design Store. ⊕

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