Marco Caliandro

San Michele Salentino, Italy

Designer Marco Caliandro was born in 1987 in the southeast of Italy, in the town of Mesagne in Puglia. He studied mechanical engineering at University of Padova from 2006 to 2009, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree. He went on to study industrial design at the University of Bari from 2010 to 2014 and graduated with a second Bachelor’s degree. In 2014, he took over his family business, Caliandro Wood, in San Michele Salentino in Brindisi. The artisanal company was originally launched in 1983 by Caliandro’s father, John, and focused on wood craftsmanship. The younger Caliandro has rededicated the company’s efforts to combine that same traditional craftsmanship with his own contemporary, often experimental furniture designs.  

Caliandro describes his work as existing “somewhere between art and design.” He is driven to explore materials’ physical properties, and notes: “The ultimate goal of the research process is not necessarily to create new objects, but rather to reflect on the materials themselves. I push the limits of carpentry, concentrating my work on the production process and the study of intimate details.”

As of this writing, notable projects include the 21H and 13H chairs and the 15H stool; parts of these seats were left in colored water for hours, which wet the wood’s capillary and resulted in visible traces of the water’s passage. Additionally, Caliandro’s 100 Woods Chair and 20|10 Chair both feature a seat and back made of upcycled solid wood, laminated together to form a striated block; the latter won the 2015 HabitaPulia|2020 competition.