Have you seen microscopic art?
Scientists have long been fascinated with viewing objects under the microscope, and it’s easy to see why. You get a fresh perspective on everyday items that look completely different under the lens. With pretty patterns and vivid colors, there’s a sense of surprise when you get a closer look at images that can’t be seen with the naked eye.
Enter Microcromo, a 3D-printed transformable coffee table that displays microscopic art. Designed by Italian company Art Is Therapy, Microcomo was born out of a combination of passions – photography and a penchant for microscopic images. In this feature, we speak to Marco Zagaria, as he shares the journey of Microcromo with us.
What is Microcromo?
Microcromo is multifunctional transforming furniture designed to be at the same time an artistic painting, a smart ambient light and a comfortable table. Designed for sophistication but built for functionality, our product uses microscope photography, chromotherapy and transformation to turn any space into a better place to live.
How did the idea for Microcromo came about?
I started making a series of 14 micro-images, photographed with the microscope. After printing the first images I made, a question came to me – “What is the function of a picture?” That’s when I realized that a painting could become something more than a style object. My office is a small open space office so I didn’t always like having a coffee table in the room. Then I came to the idea that I could make the picture, not just a decorative object, but also something useful you can hang on the wall when not in use.
More people are deciding to live in small houses for several reasons, such as lower costs or even less time it takes to clean. So it’s becoming more important to decorate the home with smart furniture. We need solutions that can make the best use of available spaces. That’s when I decided to create Microcromo, which will hopefully soon be in everyone’s house, with its Kickstarter campaign.
Initially, Marco explains that Microcomo was intended to be a simple painting born out of a microscope photo that allow us to dive deeper into the microworld. But after realizing that it could have the potential to be more than an ornament for display, Marco and his team decided to combine the three most common objects found at home – a table, ambient lighting and a work of art.
What do you want people to remember with Microcromo?
I want people to understand that a beautiful object must not be just that! It can be useful and have more functions. We imagine that Microcromo will be a turning point for modern society. As more and more people decide to live in small homes, they must have objects that are more functional while still having a strong impact of design, at the same time.
Most images don’t represent scientific samples, but can be paintings, or common kitchen items that are digitally enhanced to showcase intricate details through the microscope. The table itself is 3D printed and it features retractable legs that allow you to flatten the table for easy hanging or storage, similar to a PopSocket.
What mediums do you normally work with?
I love experimenting with new techniques and new methods of working. I love photography, making videos, manual work, digital design and experimenting with the 3D printers.
What’s challenges did you encounter creating Microcromo?
The biggest difficulty in making Microcromo has been the telescopic leg construction. We had a lot of attempts to get the final one.
What’s next for Microcromo?
We will soon launch the Kickstarter campaign for Microcromo. At this moment we are in the pre-launch phase of the project and in about one to two months we will launch our kickstarter campaign to start production. Currently, we are building a community of people interested in the project, they send us feedback and are very passionate about it. After Microcromo, we intend to develop Macrocromo, which will be foldable chairs, with the theme of Space – Universe – Planets.
Microcromo comes with an app that lets you control the lighting settings depending on your mood. With a series of unique microscopic images, the table gives off an intergalactic vibe perfect for mid-century modern themed homes. We’re excited to see the table go into production, and will hopefully be a new addition to smart furniture gaining popularity in the market.
Want to know more about Microcromo? Head over to their website here, to stay updated on the launch of their Kickstarter campaign.
Design: Art Is Therapy, Marco Zagaria
Photos: Art Is Therapy