Established in 1968, Driade is an aesthetic workshop that develops a global idea of living through furnishings, accessories, objects. It aims at experimenting within the frame of industrial serialisation. Driade has a flair for research and creativity, and has become over time a true "art factory".
Driade produces design furniture and it was founded in Piacenza in 1968 by Enrico and Antonia Astori, and Adelaide Acerbi. It's more than just a place of design and production, Driade calls itself an "aesthetic laboratory." Born in a very fertile period for Italian design, Driade is named after the wood nymphs, which embody the vigour and the natural development that resides into oak trees. This unusual name gives an additional character to what's already an ambitious project, which has certainly achieved its goals since after almost 50 years Driade's objects are renowned and successful all around the world.
History of the Driade Aesthetic Laboratory
Enrico and Antonia Astori (brother and sister) were the founders of Driade, along with Adelaide Acerbi. Since the beginning, the intention of this "laboratory" was the same that still permeates the work of the company: producing design furniture that could be purchased by anyone, in order to enter the most elegant living rooms of the developing Italy, but also "normal people" homes. The ‘60s were a very fertile period for the Italian industrial design, and many designers and architects created various furnishing elements for Driade, including Antonia Astori, one of the founders. Even today, Driade is the Astori family, and vice versa, since all the projects are headed by the second generation of the same family; the concept of family has always been dear to Driade, which over the years has certainly contributed to the international success of the company.
The Driade products
Driade's catalogue is full of products, because the most original and appreciated pieces have remained in production over the years. The catalogue is also very heterogeneous, since it includes seats, systems for the living room, beds, and various accessories such as candle holders, vases, mirrors. At the beginning, Driade used to produce just some models of seats and some special containers designed systems for the living room. One of the key products of Driade is the Oikos system, designed at the beginning of the entrepreneurial adventure by Antonia Astori herself. It is an equipped wall, that can be use as a bookcase or container, constituted by a white structure where you can fit drawers and shutters of different sizes and colours. This product is still available, alongside with many other types of wall systems and models. Equipped walls are one of the strengths of Driade, which in fact produces many models of this particular piece of furniture; some obvious examples are the Kaos system, consisting of thin brackets that support clear glass shelves, or Pantos, a wardrobe system that can hold everything, even a fully equipped kitchen.
The Driade spirit in its production
Some design companies have a catalogue that has been designed by a small number of designers, over many years; for this reason it happens to recognize an object as part of a catalogue, because each piece follows one single philosophy and is characterized by it in all its parts. Driade has a fundamental philosophy, shared by all the objects in its catalogue, but at the same time Driade products are not similar to each other: you can find the perfect chair for a completely contemporary furniture, and also tables that perfectly suits a more classical style. The common feature of all Driade's products is the spirit contained in all of them. The Astori brothers have always tried to produce objects of design that are functional and useful as well as beautiful and original. Even today, the catalogue includes several pieces that stand out at first sight for their elegance and the very modern design; but looking deeper it's evident the intensive work of the designers to make each piece perfectly useful for the purpose for which it was designed.
The beauty of Driade design
What is evident in the products included in the catalogue of Driade is the beauty and cleanliness of the many pieces presented. Every piece has a harmony and an inner cleanliness which reflects in the outside. In addition to following a common spirit, which is the mission to make everyone understand how useful it is to have at home a design object, Driade products are also characterized by high-quality materials and an extreme care in the production of each piece. Even the most original and special products, such as the Zigo or Nemo armchairs, or the Koishi pouf, reflect a certain idea of the Made in Italy, characterized by refined and raw materials used with great wisdom to create furniture that is first of all comfortable, but also beautiful and refined in every single detail. The Driade style is simple and elegant, and in some cases even a little austere.