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Zaven, product designers and graphic designers

We meet the creative duo Zaven, otherwise known as Enrica Cavarzan and Marco Zavagno, a couple in life and in work. Combining the fields of product design, graphic design and communication research, they bring an infectious enthusiasm to their practice which is characterized by openness and innovation.

Their work has included a variety of important collaborations to which they have applied an undoubtedly original approach based on exchange and sharing. Their strengths are in the interdisciplinary nature of their work, the endowment of their products with a contemporary sensitivity and a singular vision, and the ability to dialogue with a wide variety of different interlocutors. Zaven’s output ranges from product design to graphic design, communication research, art and fashion.

What are the principles underlying your creative process? How do you succeed in unifying your ideas when working on a project together?

We’re both passionate about design, which is this incredible opportunity to give form to your ideas, and to create a visual and formal language that is clear and simple.

Our method is based on exchange and on historical and contemporary research within different humanities disciplines.

We begin by amassing sketches and references on our table, and out of that a narrative begins to appear, made up of materials and images.

During this research phase of our work, we give a lot of thought to the actual materials themselves. We prefer to use natural materials and attempt to keep them as natural as possible during the process of transformation, so that when we hand over the end-product to the user, it’s in an inert state as far as both the environment and the surrounding territory is concerned. We’re both fascinated by colour, transparencies, light and texture. In formal terms, our work acts as the mouthpiece between the graphic two-dimensionality of objects and the three-dimensionality of form in which the initial gesture is once more discernible.

What are the challenges for design post-Covid19? Will there be greater emphasis on function and less on form? Will it be more sustainable and less global?

Now more than ever we have a duty to work in a way that is responsible, ethical, and of our time. Such an approach must begin with the idea and it must remain coherent to that idea all the way through to its execution and finally to its distribution. It must be involved in all the decisions you make. The value of such an approach is visible in the quality of the final product.

One thing that we try to endow our objects with is durability; we are not designing the present, but conceive of our objects in terms of leaving a lasting message through time.

Behind every design project is an idea of the world. What’s yours?

One of the themes that most interests us is the body – space – object relationship, or in other words, the way in which these three things relate to each other, how they speak to each other. One of the three is always trying to impose itself on the other two, but often it’s a fragile balance and over time, they tend to reconfigure themselves so that new scenarios are constantly being produced.