Exclusive Interview — R+D Lab Founder Jay Vosogi

Made entirely in Italy from 100% natural yarn dyed linen...

Italian brand R+D Lab combine the workmanship of craftsmen with a new perspective of design to create a product that is contemporary for today’s lifestyle.

We are excited to welcome in their latest release of table linens, as well as speak to R+D Lab Founder Jay Vosogi about the brand's pillars of research, design and nostalgia.

One of R+D Lab's design pillars is the power of colour. Can you tell us about how certain colours, for you personally and as a brand, evoke certain emotions and nostalgia?

We come from fashion, and colour is always important to us and is a part of our DNA. Colour is emotion and it always evokes a response. No one is really indifferent to colour, they either love or hate, but for sure they react and for this reason colour is a key element for connecting design with our audience. I feel at this moment we need to express our emotions and what better way with a pallet of decisive colours. We always research for colours that are perhaps forgotten about and had been a part of the vernacular of design in 60s and 70s. I think, for example, we can look at citrine green that was most typical for fabrics of chairs and sofas and I think it really translates so beautifully to glass.
Hopsack Linen Placemat, Isabella Beige, set of two $162
Hopsack Linen Placemat + Napkins, Isabella Beige
Hopsack Linen Placemat Moro Brown, set of two $162

What are some of your earliest memories of home, as a child? Were there any traditions in place surrounding the living areas of the house?

My father is an architect and my mother studied fabric design so you can imagine that they had a great awareness of design and colours in their home and I was exposed to this at a very early age. Also the kitchen was always the heart of our home, and our table in the kitchen was where we spent most of the evenings. I can’t help to think that this was a part of my inspiration.

As a designer, what are some concepts, items or experiences that are inspiring you right now?

I think we are more than aware of the purpose and putting in the center of our design the person not the object. I feel that the object should follow the purpose and person, not the other way around. With the recent openings of museums and exhibitions, I feel we have found even a greater appreciation for them considering the lack of availability for the past two years, so I find that I am visiting many that I would have passed due to time limitations and this has been very inspirational. In fact, yesterday I went to find some friends in Turin and we visited the home of Carlo Molino that was so interesting, not only aesthetically but also intellectually. He was a very interesting man and so different to his contemporaries.
Hopsack Linen Napkin Moro Brown, set of two, $89
Hopsack Linen Placemat, Isabella Beige, set of two, $162
Astier de Villatte Spotted Plum Plate, R+D Lab Hopsack Linen Isabella Beige Placemat, R+D Lab Carafe and Drinking Glasses, and Astier de Villatte Petite Pois Vase.
"We live in a world where information is fast and superficial and the only way to surpass this big trap is with real meaningful research. We research for partners to help us to create, we research for ideas that drive our design and refine our vernacular, we research for purpose and process that help us create sustainable objects, we keep researching for better ways."
Hopsack Linen Placemat, Moro Brown, set of two $162
Hopsack Linen Placemat, Isabella Beige, set of two, $162

Working alongside specialists and artisans through R+D Lab, have there been any memorable moments here to note?

Behind every item of R+D.LAB as you know there is an artisan that is the provider for his family and community. Although much has changed, and the situation will continue to stay uncertain for some time, I remain hopeful that brands with strong values will fare well through this crisis and ultimately serve the future in a creative, positive, and sustainable way. We are putting all of our support behind our artisan workshops and being hand made in Italy means so much more now than ever before.

We resonate with your idea that the right objects together can bring a memorable experience. During your travels, or perhaps local to you, have you had any memorable dining experiences, where the light, aroma, taste and company was magical?

So many, I live in Italy! Italy is a place where food is cherished and is the central focus of life, the procurement, the preparation and of course the consumption, all along we talk about food in the process. So the items that go around the consumption of food are also of great importance. In Italy we go out to stay with friends and spend time together but when we want to eat well and enjoy the food experience we eat at home and this is why making products for everyday use is important for us: to enhance the experience for home to share with loved ones.
Hopsack Linen Napkins, Isabella Beige, set of two $89
Hopsack Linen Napkins, Moro Brown, set of two, $89
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