Studio Ossidiana is an award-winning practice in architecture, design, and research led by Alessandra Covini and Giovanni Bellotti. Founded in 2015, Studio Ossidiana is always searching for new material expressions to translate visions into engaging spaces and objects. Playfulness, tactility, and inclusivity play a significant role in the studio’s projects. Stories are told, and objects are brought to life through materials and spaces that call for action, discovery, and wonder. Working across multiple scales, Studio Ossidiana blurs the boundary between architecture, design, art, landscape, and urban strategies. Studio Ossidiana is based in Rotterdam, working with an international team of architects, designers and researchers, and is actively involved locally and globally with projects across the Netherlands, Italy, Turkey, and the US. Alessandra Covini studied in Milan and Lisbon and received her master’s degree in Architecture at the University of Technology in Delft (NL). Alessandra is the winner of the Prix de Rome Architecture 2018, the oldest and most prestigious award for architects under the age of 35 in the Netherlands. Alessandra has taught and lectured at TU Delft, Rotterdam Academie van Bouwkunst, Piet Zwart Institute, KABK Den Haag, Rietveld Academy. Giovanni Bellotti studied in Venice and Delft, and received his master’s degree in Architecture from IUAV University of Venice (IT), and a postgraduate degree from MIT (US) in Architecture and Urbanism. Giovanni is a Fulbright fellow and Miguel Vinciguerra award recipient. He worked as a researcher for TU Delft’s The Why Factory and MIT’s Center for Advanced Urbanism. Giovanni teaches at Rotterdam’s Piet Zwart Institute and regularly lectures in the Netherlands and abroad.
Part kitchen, part game, part stage, TheGarden Table is a modular cast object designed to be touched, played upon, and cultivated.
It is designed as a permanent installation, made to withstand weather and use, and potentially, to grow over time. The modularity of the blocks creates spaces for sitting, games to be played, food to be shared, and urban wildlife to use.
The project is emblematic of the studio’s research and intentions, combining a focus on craft and materiality with the belief in the possibility of public space to allow new urban rituals, actions, and ways of being together to emerge. With The Garden Table, the ambition is to imagine and materialize a fragment of a collective city where domestic activities can become civic rituals, and the range of activities imaginable within the public realm can expand towards new forms of engagement with the city.
During the Biennial, the Table will be integrated into El Paseo’s ongoing programming and creation of communal space in Pilsen. Over time, daily usage and activity surrounding the permanent installation will be spontaneous—neighbors walking by who want to sit and look at the surrounding gardens, old friends playing a game of chess, or a group who wants to have a picnic.