Proudly supportive of Italian manufacturing excellence, Portego fuses the talents of designers with the dedication and commitment of Veneto craftsmen.
Portego was established in 2015 in the Veneto region of Italy. Founded by product designer Flavia Testi and interior designer Stefano Rossi, the company places a high emphasis on the rich craft heritage of the surrounding area. Having sought out and developed a network of local craft specialists, Portego facilitates their collaboration with a variety of different furniture designers, including Chiara Andreatti, Serena Confalonieri, Ilaria Innocenti and Giorgio Laboratore, Zambelli Alessandro, Seraina Lareida, David G. Aquini, and Nikolai Kotlarczyk. In selecting these designers, the company prioritizes those comfortable with working with different manufacturing professionals and craft experts, who are open to exploring design approaches guided by traditional processes. These designers are provided with the opportunity to work shoulder-to-shoulder with the manufacturers to realize their creative vision. This guarantees collections that are at once artistically unique and produced to the highest possible standard.
The objects vary in size, ranging from small household objects to large wall mirrors and textiles. Storage hooks and vanity pieces feature elegant allusions to design history. The range of Bronzino hooks by Alessandro Zambelli carry echoes of early twentieth-century architecture and generate a beautiful contrast between the severity of their geometric form and the imperfection of the bronze casting process. Dramatically decorative as well as functional, they resemble protruding wall sculptures, when mounted. The Elemento and Sceno wall mirrors by Nikolai Kotlarczyk, manufactured in collaboration with Murano glass artists, reference the repeated use of perspective and illusion in the art, architecture and artisanal crafts of the vicinity. Inspired by the spatial design of sixteenth-century architect Andrea Palladio, the series features something of the dramatic beveled splendor of silent cinema props–a lesson in the recurrence of visual motifs through time. The Selfportrait hand mirrors, designed by Studio Lido, features nods to the late nineteenth-century western appetite for Japanese objects; the fusion of the fan form with the hand-mirror, an item commonly associated with Victorian vanity tables, is given a twenty-first century upgrade with its beautifully carved wooden handle, its ‘wrinkled’ length elegantly spanning outwards to support a flat face of galvanized steel. The series of Oci rugs by Seraina Lareida, meanwhile, features beautiful abstract color compositions. Made from high-quality New Zealand wool, they are produced in Veneto ateliers and are visually inspired by the dazzling architectural variations of Venice.
Portego has exhibited at Maison & Objet, Paris, Tent London at the London Design Fair in 2016, Milan Design Week, Paris Design Week, and Operae, Turin in 2017, and at Design Shanghai and Biennale Interieur, Kortrijk, Belgium in 2018.