by Virgil Abloh
Modular Imagination is an open invitation to participate in configuring spaces and building new worlds by the contemporary culture visionary Virgil Abloh. In 2020 — only a year before his untimely death in November of 2021 — the American fashion designer and entrepreneur began to explore with Cassina the implications of modularity, a key theme in contemporary design. While sharing the fundamental values that produced design icons- respect for function, expressivity, simplicity of shape, and superior craftsmanship — Modular Imagination is also informed by purely contemporary principles ‒ like versatility, appropriate to homes of different styles and sizes, and sustainability.
The unique project is composed of two different-sized building blocks based on the idea of playful, active participation, effectively giving users autonomy over its use in their own space. Abloh designed each block as a geometric unit to stand alone or combine, suitable for private and public settings. A special connector allows the two pieces to overlap so the orange feet can lock into the top of the underlying block, yielding multiple optional uses – as an ottoman, a bench, or a table. The blocks appear deceptively rigid in matt black, concealing their soft form, making Modular Imagination an appealing seat.
Remaining faithful to the work of Virgil Abloh, Modular Imagination becomes part of the Cassina catalog as another of the creative’s high-quality contributions to the world of design. The round Abloh Cassina logo in bas-relief on the blocks’ faces and hashtag #AblohCassina seal the union between the company and the great artist. Virgil Abloh embodied — through influence, innovation, and intuition — the qualities of a master of our times within the international intellectual panorama.
Ghanaian-American, Virgil Abloh was born in 1980 and grew up in Rockford, Illinois. He was an artist, architect, and fashion designer, known for creating the Milanese-based brand, Off-White and becoming the first African American Creative Director for a French luxury house - Louis Vuitton. Abloh's foundation is in Civil Engineering and Architecture. He has a degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his masters from the Illinois Institute of Technology. There, at IIT, while studying a design curriculum devised by Mies van der Rohe, Abloh learned to combine the fields of art, craft, and design. His inter-disciplinary practice and entrepreneurial spirit lead to significant collaborations with artists worldwide on the highest levels of innovation.
In 2018, Time magazine included him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. In the summer of 2019, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago presented "Figures of Speech," a major traveling survey of Abloh's work —one of the highest attended exhibitions in the museum's history. His premature passing in 2021 prompted an outpouring of emotion from industry figures and collaborators throughout the fashion, music, and art worlds. His desire for social progress and willingness to share knowledge has opened the doors to a broader cast of creatives, firmly establishing his legacy as a contemporary cultural visionary.
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