Born in Venice, Italy in 1982, Gionata Gatto studied industrial design at the University of Architecture in Venice, earning his Bachelor’s degree in 2005. He went on to earn a Master’s degree in design from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2009. As of this writing, he is a doctoral candidate in design research at England’s Loughborough University. Gatto established Studio Gionata Gatto in Eindhoven in 2009; in 2014, he relocated to Rotterdam.
Gatto’s research-driven projects are connected by an ongoing investigation of the significance of everyday objects in an ever-changing world. His work is often narrative and experimental, delving into production processes and materials with an eye for sustainability and evolving technological and scientific advantages. He sees his design objects as contemporary artifacts. Describes his approach, he tells us, “The function of each object is designed as an experience whose content is revealed by the use. Modes of switching on and off, opening and closing, mirroring and reflecting, become revelatory actions crafted to surprise the user and stimulate his imagination.”
Gatto’s designs include self-initiated projects, commissions from design companies and other brands, and collaborations with universities, research institutes, and the like. Standout projects include: Trap Light (2011), a light collection made in collaboration with Mike Thompson that utilized photoluminescent pigments to capture and convert escaping light back into visible light; Agricola (2012), a product collection composed of local waste from fruit, vegetable, and cereal production that is designed to last approximately a decade before naturally biodegrading; (H)eat (2014), a thermal cooking instrument-slash-battery designed with Alessia Cadamuro; as well as Geomerce (2015), a research project made in collaboration with Giovanni Innella that transforms polluted land into a financial resource through the “mining” action of plants.
The designer’s work has been exhibited in galleries and at events worldwide, including Spazio Rossana Orlandi, Triennale di Milano, Maison&Objet, Sotheby’s, Tijdelijk Museum, and others. Since 2014, Gatto has lectured on the topic of future thinking and products at the Willem De Kooning Academy in Rotterdam and at Istituto Europeo di Design of Madrid.