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01.23.20 – A pair of Daniels undergrads are getting into the furniture design business

Anthony Mattacchione didn't enrol in architecture school intending to make furniture. And yet, his architecture education ended up being excellent preparation for the task.

As a work-study student in the Daniels Faculty's Digital Fabrication Labaratory, the 21-year-old fourth-year undergrad had plenty of time and opportunity to master the use of CNC mills and waterjet cutters — computerized crafting tools that make it possible to cut and shape materials in incredibly precise ways. About a year ago, it occurred to Mattacchione that he could use these tools for things other than coursework.

"I started dabbling, designing my own furniture," he says. "It was a hobby."

Eventually, he developed a way of creating beautiful, minimalist stools and tables using lengths of cantilevered steel. Now, he and his business partner, fellow Daniels undergrad Temi Adeniyi, have entered sales mode. Their furniture design company, which is called Mattacchione, made its public debut earlier this month at this year's Interior Design Show, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

The company's initial line of furniture, titled "Inserire," consists of a trio of similarly styled pieces: a side table, a stool, and a coffee table. Each item has a cantilevered base made of powder-coated steel and a top made of solid maple. Grooves in the wood allow it to integrate smoothly with the metal. The items are sturdy and functional, but their liberal use of negative space prevents them from appearing bulky. Mattacchione and Adeniyi are fabricating everything at a workshop in Etobicoke, using Canadian materials.

"Steel is meant for structure, wood is for beauty and elegance," Mattacchione says. "How do you connect the two together? That's how I came to the title, 'Inserire.'" (It's Italian for "to insert.")

The Daniels Faculty's fabrication lab was the perfect place for him to cultivate his furniture-making skills. "I would never have gotten into wood shop and metalworking if I hadn't been working down in the lab," he says. "Most designers don't actually know how their products are made. My involvement in fabrication makes things a lot easier."

Mattacchione and Adeniyi are already starting to see results. Mattacchione says that their company's booth at the Interior Design Show attracted interest from several potential buyers and business partners.

To view Mattacchione's furniture designs, or to inquire about buying his work, visit his website.

Photo: Temi Adeniyi (left) and Anthony Mattacchione, at their booth at the Interior Design Show. Courtesy of Anthony Mattacchione.