You may have recently seen photos of TUBO, an interactive, child-permitting fun house that was unveiled as part of Hangzhou International Design Week in China this month. The two creatives behind the exhibition, Erika Zorzi and Matteo Sangalli are the founders of Mathery Studio, an Italy-based product design company. Their eclectic portfolio includes a colorfully diverse set of ingenious works, many of which intentionally cater to the difficult to reach demographic of children.
Essentially, TUBO is a much cooler version of the primary colored, rubber-ball pits that American malls started installing in the 90s to entertain bored kids. The white cubed space is filled with an assortment of small foam “tubos” (think petite swim noodles) that can be used to create health-conscious shapes like broccoli, carrots, a fried egg, banana, and a giant mushroom – by inserting them in the neatly perforated wall.
“With the continual addition of Tubos, over time the space will become a creative, colorful scene of furry food.”
The design duo have jokingly admitted to not relaxing very easily, so it is no surprise that their expanding website brags over 20 extremely unique design collaborations. Here are a few of our favorites:
The Venus Wall:
This was a private commission for a somebody’s home…unreal. “Inspired by the Roman goddess, an army of tiny plump women marches on undeterred by the sheer scale of their journey. The Venus, venerated mythological icon of love, sex and fertility, recalls a classical aesthetic, enticing the family upstairs with her feminine beauty.”
Pastello – Draw Act:
Pastello is “crayon” in Italian, the overall inspiration for this Mathery Studio project commissioned by The National Gallery of Victoria in Australia.
“The concept shifts perceptions and expectations about traditional materiality, media and the act of drawing itself. It is active, colourful, inspiring and fun. The objective of the space is to ask children to break out of their comfort zone and to become active protagonists in the physical act of drawing.”
Another commission from The National Gallery of Victoria, Mathery Studio was asked to design the decor for the Sponsors Dinner, honoring the opening exhibition, “Italian Masterpieces of Museo Del Prado”. And this is what they came up with…
“The Artwork is a collage of traditional italian gestures, religious iconography and highly stylized food, creating hidden layers of meaning.”
“The “Corna”, a hand gesture resembling the horns of an animal, always accompanied by the word “Cornuto!” means your wife is cheating on you. Salame slices covering the woman’s eyes indicates that she is unable to make a clear judgement “Hai le fette di salame sugli occhi!”. Using a crust of bread to soak up the last of your meal or piling too much spaghetti on your fork were deemed faux pas by Galateo, the Renaissance social code of conduct.”
All images courtesy of Mathery Studios.