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Soane Museum exhibits 3D-printed Piranesi furnishings

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An exhibition of furnishings designed by 18th century Italian architect Giovanni Piranesi and created through 3D printing has opened at Sir John Soane’s Museum

Giovanni Batista Piranesi (1720-1778), best known for his often imaginary sketches of Rome, designed a number of home furnishings based on his interpretation of the classical world which were published in influential books such as Diverse Maniere d’Adornare i Cammini… (1769) and Vasi, Candelabri, Cippi, Sarcofagi… (1778).

A selection of these objects – unrealised in Piranesi’s lifetime – have been created by Madrid-based design studio Factum Arte using 3D printing.

The objects include an altar piece, a tripod table, a gilt chair, a coffee pot and a candelabra. Also on display is a selection of sketches by Piranesi.

Jerzy J. Kierkuc-Bielinski, curator of the exhibition, said: ‘Three-dimensional printing technology…opens up great possibilities. Not only can fragile works of art be replicated down to surface colour and texture, but entire monuments can also be recorded and reproduced in this manner.’

He added: ‘Sir John Soane, with his love of new building technologies and use of casts and models in his teaching and architectural practice, would undoubtedly have embraced the potential of the three-dimensional print.’

Diverse Maniere: Piranesi, Fantasy and Excess
Until 31 May 2014
Sir John Soane’s Museum,13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3BP
Admission: Free

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