As part of the Collaborations exhibit at the Toronto Interior Design Show, SETtINgSTONE is an installation designed by Giannone Petricone Associates and built in collaboration with CIOT and Structure Corp. The exhibition showcased four Toronto Design firms, each paired with a single material with which to construct a concept space demonstrating innovation in both its use and available technology.

Paired with Caesarstone, we created a 200 sq.ft. installation that transformed the naturally engineered stone product into a versatile and multifaceted design element. As Caesarstone is often used in residential applications the idea for the installation was to take domestic elements like drapes, tablecloths and upholstery and to petrify their movement and form in a moment in time. We challenged ourselves to make soft domestic elements out of durable, hard stone and therefore employed a synthesized, natural stone product made of 97% quartz and engineered with 3% resin and pigments, to provide the necessary ductility to bend and sculpt what is usually hard and brittle.

Pushing the limits of stone to both subvert and heighten its natural qualities, SETtINgSTONE highlights the beauty of stone while at the same time experiments with unexpected possibilities of plasticity, depth and tactility. Traditional Irish Green Marble and Blue Limestone are juxtaposed to create a sliced crystal monolith, 16 ft high, where a careful grafiato finish on the limestone renders it a rough ‘crust’ embracing the exposed highly polished marble. The conventional technique of book- matching is brought to a new level. A hyper ‘book-match within the book-match’ creates an exaggerated kaleidoscope of natural Irish Green veining.

The entire mass stands alongside a paper-thin ‘scroll’, a vault of Blizzard coloured Caesarstone, heat-molded to hover above a collection of stone furniture. The curve of the vault rises from 7ft 9” at its lowest point to 10 ft. 3” at its highest, and spans 8 ft 5.5”. Milled down to 1⁄4” thick, the curved, Caesarstone vault appears to be paper- thin.

Emerging from a series of experiments, a curtain lamp, three table cloth tables and a tufted bench were created using various technologies: CNC technology, computerized sand-blasting techniques, baguette faceting, water jet cutting and resin-based fuse bonding with ground finish. These supple, one-off pieces articulate a kind of textile, frozen in mid-air, seemingly unaffected by gravity: a stone cloth sandblasted and carved with custom ‘embroidered’ patterns, folds and seams; a bench, constructed from 3⁄4” Ruby Reflections Caesarstone CNC cut to the channeled profile to give it the plush look of an upholstered bench.

Uniting architecture, sculpture and theatre, the installation challenges preconceptions of stone by inverting its qualities of thickness and heaviness to thinness and lightness. Contrasts between these natural and engineered materials ultimately render a proscenium whose petrified draperies set the stage for a new performance in stone.