Manoteca, in Bologna, is the workshop where Elisa Cavani heads back every day, in search of lost objects. But her quest began before launching this creative shop in 2011: she has always filled her apartment with seemingly useless items, and surrounded herself with old scrap iron.

Her imagination is often sparked by what she is able to find around the city, or abandoned in attics, construction sites and flea markets. Her eyes light up with an original sparkle when she catches a glimpse of a dusty tricycle or an unhinged door lying on the ground. Her intuition kindles luminous, shapeless ideas in front of the forgotten materials in which she is still able to perceive some of the body heat, some of the human touch, that once were.

Then, little by little, these lost objects – made of wood, metal, glass, plastic – assemble into unusual creations, into new possibilities. The door remains a door, but is now also a table; the tricycle holds on to its identity, yet has transformed into a mini-library featuring a bedside lamp and wheels.

In her workshop in Bologna, this designer shuffles the cards of existence in lost objects. Which here have found a new home.

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