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Dead Nanda Vigo, designer and architect

Dead Nanda Vigo, designer and architect

Nanda Vigo, who died in Milan on May 16, 2020, had met Mariuccia Casadio on the occasion of the presentation of her work “Global Interior”, telling her about her relationship with light, the raw material of her work.

We propose the conversation, published on Casa Fashion in October 2018.

Talent and courage. Radicality and autonomy. Will and passion define the personality of Nanda Vigo (1936), his uncompromising, resolute and never conventional, pioneering and adventurous doing. An interdisciplinary and totalizing project that has been nourished by extraordinary experiences and encounters. First of all, the Casa del Fascio (1932-1936) by Giuseppe Terragni, in which she, displaced in Como during the war, still comes across as a child, and which reveals to her the power and the extraordinary charm of light.

Natural light in that case, which flows between inside and outside, full and empty of that open and modular structure, underlines it penetrates expands softens alters the contours and colors, tinting it with the always different shades of the day and making it more and more light, almost incorporated in the space. Light that impresses itself already then in his mind and remains there indelible over time, inextricably associated with the space and the origin of his activity, in the years of the artistic high school and the first scholastic works. Projects where Nanda already brings together different visual languages ​​and techniques.

I continued to work on the modulation and dissolution of light, he reiterates during our conversation. “A light capable of altering the size, perception and experience of space. And I came to hypothesize an increasingly fluid approach, which could nullify the limit between exterior, interior and furniture, connecting architecture, design and art. I called it “integration of the arts” and it was at the time, it was the fifties, of an absolutely uncommon creative and design vision. Nobody listened to me, so I went looking for who I thought knew what I was talking about

Today a successful 80-year-old professional, with new or historical works included in important exhibitions and a of inspiration for the youngest artists and designers, Nanda Vigo has thus continued her research. Focused on a space-light relationship, who investigated as an artist but also as an architect and designer.

Enriching it with unprecedented eclectic perspectives, angles, facets. And transforming it into a cut-out, overturned, altered form, amplified with the aid of mirror modules and neon colored lights, which engulfs information from the surrounding world, connoting in always different and unpredictable ways the geometric solids of the work and the elements of habitat furnishings.

Dead Nanda Vigo designer and architect
Dead Nanda Vigo designer and architect

© Roberto Serra – Iguana Press

Or making it an interaction of opacity and transparency, rigid and soft surfaces, an optical effect that generates from overlapping of printed glass. Or that becomes a sensory short circuit of aluminum and plush. Implying nevertheless the experimentation of innovative materials, digital shades, monochromatic furnishing concepts, marked by all-inclusive, sunny shades of yellow or totally obscured by black, to emphasize, as in a casket, bright objects and art statements Contemporary. Distinctive choices of a line-up that starting from Terragni and after childhood conversations with Filippo de Pisis, a regular guest of the Vigo house, who loved her most often to contact and listen, is enriched with new encounters.

Shares, exchanges of ideas, theories and practices with masters and generational fellow travelers. Professional collaborations and romantic relationships. Overseas travels, frequentations and international certificates, which annex the names of Frank Lloyd Wright, Lucio Fontana and Gio Ponti, Piero Manzoni and Gruppo Zero, who was one of the most extraordinary and intense examples of the dream of “integration of the arts”.

First I knocked on Lucio Fontana’s door. When he opened me I said “good morning I was very interested in your manifesto of spatialism, I would like to talk to you about it …”, staying there in the doorway. And he, “but yes come in, sit down, what are you doing there, take this canvas …”. So, to my delight, I became his shop girl.

Then I knocked on Gio Ponti, who worked between design, architecture and even urban planning, who confirmed that he could continue my work ». An integration of the arts that has conquered its teachers, making the young Nanda their most sought-after design partner.

In the gallery, images taken from the exhibition dedicated to Nanda Vigo, at Palazzo Reale, Milan, in July 2019

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