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Lanzavecchia + Wai

By Dwell @dwell
With products ranging from lacy neck braces to a rug for Mercedes-Benz, the globe-trotting design duo Lanzavecchia + Wai’s professional wanderings are as peripatetic as their diverse origins. lanzavecchia wai portrait

“Coming from such different cultures affects the way we produce things as a studio. Our vision is tempered by these two sides of the world, and we hope 
to design with relevance and impact on a global scale.” –Francesca Lanzavecchia and Hunn Wai

Francesca Lanzavecchia, 30, is Italian and met the Singaporean Hunn Wai, 33, while studying at Design Academy Eindhoven. Shortly after, in 2009, they formed their eponymous firm in Denmark.

lanzavecchia way yellow chair

The Assunta is a multifunctional chair, which tips forward to help you stand up, and also has an LED reading light that magnifies a page.

And though the pair’s work easily skips across the globe—look for them to make a bigger splash at this year’s SingaPlural show in Singapore than at Salone—their unique vantage point on the design world has imbued them with a quality rising stars so often lack: empathy. We love their 2012 “No Country for Old Men” collection, a series of high-design aids for the elderly. Aimed at filling the “gap between the medical and domestic world,” says Wai, “we are speaking with health furniture manufacturers and health-care institutions to realize this inclusive vision.” The series includes a cane equipped with a tea tray, the Assunta chair that tips forward to help you stand up, and an LED reading light that magnifies a page. Other equally tactile pieces include the Fragmented Cabinets from 2011, storage pieces with drawers that “open” by stretching their fabric.

lanzavecchia wai fragmented cabinets

These equally tactile and colorful storage pieces with drawers "open" by stretching their fabric.

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