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Wilden.herbals meets / An interview with Edoardo Giancola

Wilden. herbals interviews Edoardo Giancola of the Zarcola Architetti studio to recount our collaboration and the construction of the display counter of our pop-up store

Edoardo Giancola, as the name suggests, is one half of Zarcola Architetti, an architectural firm in Milan. Their work stems from the search for a relationship between historical traditions and contemporary interventions and takes shape through a natural, precious and eternal material, wood. 

Here you can read our chat with Edoardo and learn more about the philosophy behind his studio and the birth of the project they’ve created for us, the display counter used in our pop-up store inside La Rinascente Milano.

Can you introduce us to the Zarcola Architetti studio?

We work between Milan and the Lessini Mountains, in the province of Verona: we are two partners and have two different offices, this allows us to approach two types of customers. With Federico Zarattini, my partner, we share the same research background acquired during the university years, dividing ourselves between rural and urban environments. We also enjoy dealing with small-scale projects, which can also be the setting up of exhibitions, events, shows or collaborations with companies like yours.

How did the collaboration with Wilden.herbals come to be?

It all started through Nicola and Delfino (two of the Wilden.herbals founders). We make wooden structures and our philosophy in the use of materials is to leave them as they are: we use the raw material in its purest essence. We have found a strong affinity in Wilden’s business logic, namely that of returning to traditions and using natural ingredients, also exploring the process by which they are born and come to us. These affinities convinced us to collaborate for a specific project.

What was the inspiration for the Wilden.herbals counter?

The counter’s inspiration is twofold: one is formal and comes from the idea of recovering drying structures. These elements are clearly visible, with the beams that intertwine and come out one above the other, recalling the old dryers.

The second, on the other hand, is material, because we wanted to use a material as it is without having to add anything else, whether it was glue or screws, so we created a set of joints. It basically involves joining panels to strips: two vertical panels plus three horizontal ones that support each other through cuts. The force of gravity would make them collapse on themselves but here is where the strips come into play, inserting and blocking the system. This set of joints makes the structure a unique element, like a dry knot that allows you to keep everything upright. Thanks to this system we were able to use nothing but the wood itself, without glue or screws, for an extremely natural effect.

What does ‘Healthy and Wild’ mean to you?

We tried to express our interpretation of ‘healthy and wild’ in our project, through the use of material as it is, as natural as possible.

Another interpretation is that we have deliberately taken up elements of a rural or, if you like, vernacular context. I refer to the ancient elements of the dryers, also to transcribe their memory, which made us feel very close to Wilden, for having taken up traditions that were used for something else, mixing the elements and by doing so creating something with a contemporary flavor.