Officefordesign : W-box

Italian designers Andrea Palmioli and Mirko Spaccapanico founders of Officefordesign, have sent me images of W-box, a wooden box modular system with a style that goes back to the fifties.

During our lives, we reorder objects, habits and memories. Everything that belongs to us needs a box, even our displacements. We are contained in rooms and those rooms themselves are inside houses. One can say that many things cancontain other things. So, what’s a box? A box is an origin.

The Italian industrial design was born during the postwar years thanks to the civil conversion of the armament industry. Then, every design was made expression of functionality and innovation. The W-box design collection gets its inspiration form this linearity. The stylization of the elements and the decorative references were inspired by geometry and ancient decoration. Nowadays, just like in the past, formal synthesis obliges us to control the dispersion of our resources.

We are longing for a sense of linearity and for simplicity of design. We wonder if it would be possible to realize modular furniture with a look which could show elegance and synthesis of its compositive structure and of its own single element. We wanted to make real a principle. A different principle for everyone.


This was made entirely possible by using a fine brass screw and a precious detail of that time: the dovetail. It is strong and unique. We do believe that contemporary design should emphasize itself through the reference of the past. We succeeded with the use of color. Each W-box has an amazing color and silky touch.

We blended together some tones from classical tradition such as Etruscan and Coral red, ancient Chinese yellow and the Pale green of aristocratic Russian palaces or Beige color of small Italian villages. Those shades which in the past evoked Nature and characterized the last centuries’ decorations now embellish the elements of the W-box collection together with a renewed modernity. We have fixed time on each W-box surface.


The choice of lamellar fir wood has been carefully selected to reduce to the minimum the presence of numerous natural nodes. The wood has been painted with a blend of non-toxic and matt colors that reveals the irregularity of fibre and gives to the W-box a retro look. The specific softness of fir wood increases the constructive complexity and the attention to detail has been skillfully controlled by scrupulous manufacture.

As time goes by, each W-box surface acquires its own brightness. This meticulous composition among materials, processings and finishes gives to each box a fascinating vintage feature. The result is intentionally cozy and surprising. Each W-box should keep traces of our daily movements and also the identity of the objects that are contained within. Our desire was that every single W-box would be here for long time. Each W-box expresses now our aspiration: keeping your daily emotions.

The collection was presented at Maison&Objet in September 2012.

Photos © Officefordesign

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