Michele De Lucchi’s AMDL Circle Experiments With Apparel

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MILAN — A functional jacket with hidden pockets for pencils, and a canvas tote bag for carrying around rolled posters, are just two of the pieces forming the modern architect’s uniform imagined by AMDL Circle, the multidisciplinary studio of well-known Italian designer Michele De Lucchi.

The concise Architect’s Tools capsule collection has been developed under Produzione Privata, the design research project De Lucchi launched in 1990 as an experimental division of his firm. As part of this laboratory, a wide array of objects encompassing lamps, vases and chairs have been developed free of commission and leveraging artisanal techniques.

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This year, for the first time, the young designers in De Lucchi’s team ventured into apparel and accessories in their ongoing quest for creating items that could best serve today’s needs.

“The paradigms of today’s work have changed and tools need to adjust to this idea that you can work from everywhere. So we imagined objects that could be useful and fitting with the changes we’re experiencing,” said Michele Vanetti, who is part of the project team.

As result, the minimal range was loaded with practical details, as seen in printed cotton T-shirts with micro pockets on a sleeve to keep a pencil handy; a boxy jacket in waterproof fabric with elastic bands at the cuffs in lieu of buttons so that nothing clinks on the table while designing a project, and a functional cross-body workbag with a padded compartment for a computer “since we don’t carry around too much paper any more, but we can work from anywhere with just a PC,” Vanetti said.

The items were produced by Grassi 10000, a spinoff of a historic Italian workwear manufacturer, which deployed deadstock fabrics in some pieces, including the tote bags.

The tote bag included in the “Architect’s Tools” capsule collection. - Credit: Andrea Saluti/Courtesy of AMDL Circle
The tote bag included in the “Architect’s Tools” capsule collection. - Credit: Andrea Saluti/Courtesy of AMDL Circle

Andrea Saluti/Courtesy of AMDL Circle

Starting Monday, the capsule collection will be available at the AMDL Circle studio in Milan, Produzione Privata’s e-commerce as well as in around 40 indie stores across Italy as part of an exclusive partnership inked with the retail consortium Histores. Prices range from 46 euros for the tote bag to 352 euros for the jacket.

Along with apparel, this Produzione Privata drop will also include design objects such as the Bisonte wooden stool — a reinterpretation of a 2005 design by De Lucchi, that could also be used as table or coat hanger when more than two pieces are piled up — and the wireless glass lamp Teda, which can double as vase or decanter.

The Teda lamp. - Credit: Delfino Sisto Legnani/Courtesy of AMDL Circle
The Teda lamp. - Credit: Delfino Sisto Legnani/Courtesy of AMDL Circle

Delfino Sisto Legnani/Courtesy of AMDL Circle

Since graduating in architecture in 1975, De Lucchi has been a key figure in the most prominent Italian experimental design movements of the late ‘70s and the ‘80s, such as the design collectives Cavart, Studio Alchimia as well as the Memphis Group led by Ettore Sottsass.

De Lucchi has designed furniture and lamps for main companies in the industry, including Artemide, Alias, Unifor and Alessi. On a bigger scale, he has developed many architectural projects for private and public clients, such as the Bridge of Peace in Tbilisi, Georgia, as well as the UniCredit Pavilion and buildings for Expo 2015 in Milan.

Over the years, he has also been involved in numerous art and design exhibitions and created building plans for museums including the Triennale di Milano; Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome; Neues Museum in Berlin; Fondazione Cini in Venice, and the Gallerie d’Italia’s location in Milan’s central Piazza Scala. Next year, his projects for Gallerie d’Italia’s venues in Turin and Naples will be unveiled.

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