05 May 2015

Viola Tonucci and the Italian crafstmanship


“Everybody will have his one-of-a-kind piece of furniture, with its own features and differences, a product by man for man, which is not homologable”.

Viola Tonucci



During Milan Design Week 2015 Manifestodesign presented a unique product designed by Viola Tonucci.

In reality that is a very special restyling of two existing products: the poufs Mao and Bao, already present in the leather collection. For the occasion, at the showroom of Agape12, Manifestodesign has shown the new pieces made of exquisite recycled fabrics, whose fibres were yarn spun and dyed, and sought after many famous Italian manufacturer companies. These fibres were then are woven by craftsman at the loom with the “pezzotto” technique. The result is an emotional and imperfect product, with similar shapes, but variable colours.


The timeless Director’s chair re-designed in detail by Enrico Tonucci cannot fail to implement the restyling of the collection of Manifestodesign with two metallic colour variants: a bronze and a refined olive brown in addition to the shiny brushed aluminium. Last but not least Iris the new glove box and hanger in the version in leather and leather and tissue for the coat hanger, design by Enrico Tonucci.


We met Viola at Agape 12 showroom and here below you can read our interview:


Tell us about your and the company Manifestodesign.

Manifestodesign is a furniture brand born from designers in 2006, and is the commercial section of our studio Tonucci Design, founded by my father Enrico and me. We collaborates with local craftsman in the Marche region for the production of high end and niche furniture pieces.


How do you start the partnership with Agape?

We met Emanuele Benedini (Agape’s CEO ndr) at a fair Paris three or four years ago, while we were setting up an exhibition, and we got this offer to collaborate with Agape and we happily accepted, also thanks to the friendship between my father and Benedini, they met the first time many years ago, when my father was the owner of other two companies that he sold back before the recession. Manifestodesign is a niche reality which uses only natural materials and artisanal techniques for the production of its pieces.


Can you tell us about the two most famous pieces of your collection: the Bao pouf and the Director’s chair?

I designed the Bao pouf a couple of years ago, originally upholstered with a particular and exquisite paper fabric, Bao was mentioned on Young Designers and published on Domus. Unfortunately the Italian company which was producing the paper fabric shut down, and re-opened in Poland, but the quality of its product was not as high as I was used to so I had to choose another material to finish the seat, and I went for the leather. This year I decided to make a new variation using discards from a precious fabric handmade in Tuscany, through the “pezzotto” technique (v. description above ndr). For the contract we buy the fabric from the same company, we then cut it and work in according to traditional manufacturing. The Director’s chair is inspired by the classic one from tv sets, but it is different in many details, the client can customise it choosing the fabric and sending it to us so that we can realise the product he wants. Moreover we have got a collection of samples we assembly on order, a stock of raw materials we use according to the requests, both for the structure and the covering.