Kiasmo is a creative studio based in Ruffano, a town in the south of Salento known for its noble residences and antique churches. The firm was founded in 2011 by the artist and architect, Vincenzo D’Alba, an engineer named Francesco Maggiore, and Mauro Melissano, an entrepreneur and businessman.
Oliver Dahle chats with Vincenzo D’Alba to learn about how three talents from three different backgrounds came together to form an Apulian company that lives and breathes art, fashion, design, and architecture.
This multidisciplinary approach to creativity and creation, which is the foundation of Kiasmo, is also reflected in the name of the company. “Kiasmo is a Greek word that means intertwining“, explains D’Alba. “The intertwining of different disciplines has turned into a privileged mode, an approach, to design”. And intertwining different disciplines of design areas and keep pushing boundaries is something Kiasmo wish to continue doing.
Our goal is to continue designing in different sectors in order to one day have a concrete and coherent look at all things created.
Currently, textiles, ceramics, design, fashion, art, and architecture are Kiasmo’s main fields of activity. Based in Puglia, the team has created signature work, leaving their mark across the region’s most inspiring brands, private residences, and hotel properties. Among Vincenzo’s list of accomplishments is a residence for the mayor of Uggiano la Chiesa, the headquarters of Kiasmo in Ruffano, and lab space at the headquarters of Fratelli Colí.
Although the company is based in Apulia, Vincenzo has a wider spectrum of inspirational sources. “My work is not influenced by the geographical borders of Apulia, if anything, it is inspired by a culture that originates in the Mediterranean and the Middle East.”
Alongside architectural works, Vincenzo and the Kiasmo team have dipped their hands in other creative fields in recent years producing, for example, a mural at the Archilovers headquarters in Bari titled “Fabbricare, fabbricare, fabbricare”; a series of plates for Archiproducts; two labels for the wines of Schola Sarmenti; label design for Birra dei Borgia truffle beer and Olio Cupertino; the decoration of a Beetle from the Bodycar series; a collection of ceramics for Natuzzi and a collection of products for hotel Tre Bacili, just to name a few.
The team is also co-creating with other brands. “The collaboration with various brands stems from the desire to understand Kiasmo as a firm capable of constituting a world of signs belonging to one single vision, albeit fragmentary, where history coincides with the project. The meeting with Olio Cupertino, for example, took place thanks to the sensitivity of the client who immediately placed great trust in Kiasmo”, notes D’Alba.
“Now, for example, we are working on making a series of tapestries. One of these will be set up inside a historic home that is a former silk factory named La Filanda. We are also working on a project in the town of Altamura, it is a drawing set up on the outside of a building with several floors, a figurative and iconographic element linked to the history of Altamura.”
Another notable project is the Kiasmo Suite Museum, located in Uggiano la Chiesa, and fully realized by Vincenzo. The concept? A museum-like suite where architects, interior designers, and clients can experience the brand’s range of products with overnight stays to figure out how they feel and interact within the space. I ask him, what were the most important characteristics that you wanted to achieve when building Kiasmo Suite Museum? “Kiasmo Suite Museum aims to be a total work of art, a shrine, even anachronistic, to live in the rediscovered time.” The full range of Kiasmo products can be chosen by the team or the client, creating a real-life brand experience. The museum also showcases artworks by Vincenzo himself, such as ceramics, murals, and busts. The project is realized by Vincenzo and he has planned the building’s architecture and interior spaces.
When looking at Kiasmo Suite Museum it feels very elaborated even to the smallest detail and some might describe it as eccentric – what are your thoughts about that? “I think it is not enough”, he says.
There is no doubt that Kiasmo and Vincenzo D’Alba will continue creating and spread their craft in Italy and over the world. When asking if there is any project that Vincenzo is particularly satisfied with, the answer is both ambiguous and ambitious at the same time. “Satisfaction is the opposite of consolation. However, I think Kiasmo itself is the most complete project. Even from an entrepreneurial point of view”, Vincenzo explains. The answer is somewhat revealing the holistic view of Kiasmo – creativity is expressed in several different fields and no project is either too small neither too big. This multidisciplinary approach is also what makes Kiasmo intriguing as a company, creativity never ends and can appear in new places and shapes.
Discover more about Kiasmo on kiasmo.it