Elena Manferdini’s drawings blur lines between fashion and pattern in an architectural context and introduce new contemporary landscapes where creativity is boundless.
“Architects have a seemingly unlimited faith in the power of the grid – the abstraction of the grid is reduced: it becomes, quite literally, graspable”Shop Elena Manferdini Products
Elena Manferdini is the principal and owner of Atelier Manferdini, an award-winning multidisciplinary studio based in Venice CA. A licensed engineer in Italy, and a licensed architect in Switzerland, Elena Manfredini has over fifteen years of professional experience in architecture, art, design, and education. With a Professional Engineering Degree from the University of Civil Engineering (Bologna, Italy) and a Master of Architecture and Urban Design from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), Elena currently teaches at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and is the Graduate Programs Chair.
In 2014 she held the Howard Friedman Visiting Professor of Practice at the University of California Berkeley (UCB). She has also held Visiting Professor positions at Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania and Seika University. She frequently lectures, and her work has been exhibited internationally in both architecture and art museums.
“Architects have a seemingly unlimited faith in the power of the grid, a mastering system that has become dominant in a significant portion of the modern American cityscape. The set of drawings used in the design of this collection of rugs explores the potential of the contemporary grid and vibrant colours”
Mixing her engineering background with architecture and design Elena Manferdini can boost a variety of work spanning across multiple disciplines, from public art to fashion design.
In her interview with the online magazine Designboom, the Manferdini looks back at her professional upbringing in Europe and the influence of the Bauhaus approach which propelled the idea that an architect could design “from the spoon to the city”. And with this teaching in mind Manferdini embraced one of her latest collaboration with Urban Fabric. With a series of limited edition rugs called “Building Portraits” Manferdini reinterprets the urbanity, moulding details of abstract landscapes with multi-dimensional and colourful grids.
Scripted drawings, photo-realism and glitch artwork mixed with engineering and architectural know-how. The style of Elena Manferdini is a continuous exploration of artistic medium revolving around the idea of chaotic order. Her futuristic approach towards patterns has informed the exploration in facade systems and textiles now so clearly recognizable as a “Manferdini style”.
For her collaboration with Urban Fabric., she plays with studies of building facades and fenestrations recalling Cubists patterns and Mies van der Rohe’s skyscrapers. The rugs’ handmade fabric glorifies the multi-dimensional perceptions of architectural shapes creating dreamlike tactile experiences. Walking on the limited editions “Building Portraits” one can be transported in Manferdini universe, where geometries and intricate repetitions become the coding language of her restless creativity.
“I have always been a creative person, even as an engineer. Creativity is part of an innate attraction to an overall sense of order and both fields are intrinsically based on geometrical principles”
Her firm Atelier Manferdini has completed art and architectural projects in the US, Europe and Asia. Notable among the firm’s projects are the Pavilion for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Bianca, a three stories boat in Japan, and a series of interior design renovations in Los Angeles.
Manferdini was awarded the 2013 COLA Fellowship given by City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs to support the production of original artwork. In 2013 she received a Graham Award for architecture, the 2013 ACADIA Innovative Research Award of Excellence, and she was selected as the recipient for the Educator of the Year presidential award given by the AIA Los Angeles. In 2011 she was one of the recipients of the prestigious annual grants from the United States Artists (USA) in the category of architecture and design.