Partners in life and business at once. That is designer studio Zaven, which has consisted of Enrica Cavarzan and Marco Zavagno since 2006. They live with their children in Venice, but cross a bridge every day to work in their stunning industrial studio in Mestre. This is where we met them and asked about the advantages of being a designer in Venice and dividing their efforts between product and graphic design. They thrive in both disciplines which is quite unusual for the contemporary design scene.

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Working inside a monumental modernist factory building, the Zaven studio designs everything from the consumer products for companies through limited editions in their own production to editorial design of their own small publishing house. Most notably, they are known for their minimalist yet decorative furniture, lighting and accessories.

Creating simple forms in an extraordinary selection of noble materials, Zaven is the master of unexpected simplicity. Their Nodo candleholder is a modular kinetic object. Thanks to the movement of its independent arms, Nodo can hold many candles and change the shape of the light it emits.

Pila vases, created from stackable round discs of different sizes, are small architectural objects. So are their more recent projects such as Wood Wood Wood furniture series, In Primis tables or Olimpia lamp. Sharp lines and strong geometric shapes interact with each other creating essential compositions.

Furniture collection Wood Wood Wood pays tribute to modernist kinetic movement of the 1960s Milan.

It was presented in an environment in which the white light is alternated with the black one (Wood light), revealing hidden geometries and altering the perception of the space and the display. The project was commissioned by curator Marco Sammicheli and sponsored by Telecom Italia.

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Tatai is the Venetian word for “a walk” and also this great collection of chocolate souvenirs discovering unexpected scale factors between buildings, domes and cruise ships. These wooden models were transferred to chocolate made by Vizio Virtù.

Next to their work for clients, Zaven launched their two very own projects, Something Good and Monos Editions. Something Good is a design firm that sells high-quality handcrafted products locally made in Italy and promotes Italian traditonal craftsmanship. The small products including vases, bowls, stationery and more are mostly designed by Zaven’s friends including Tomáš Král, Giorgio Biscaro, Matteo Zorzenoni, Oscar Diaz and others.

Together with Ana María Bresciani they also created Monos, a publishing project feauturing new academic essays exploring singular relations between humanities, applied arts and forms open to experiment. Under the label, they have already published several small books documenting selected lectures on different topics.

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Interview & text: Adam Štěch
Text edit: Helena Kardová
Photo: Tomáš Souček, Jan Kloss

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