(a+b) dominoni, quaquaro is a design studio that works in the field of design, research and technological and social innovation to increase the quality of life. Annalisa and Benedetto are specialist in Space design and extreme environments: they design to increase the astronauts life and take inspiration by Space technologies to generate new smart and sustainable products for living, working and the environment.
In 2015 they designed the new trains Leonardo of Milan underground for ATM - Hitachi Rail Italy and achieved the Award Excellence della Lombardia by ADI Design Index 2016. They design collections of objects for companies and limited series for art and design galleries. Among their clients: Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI), Baleri Italia, Benetton, Electrolux-Zanussi, European Space Agency (ESA), Ferrero, Living Divani, NASA, TechnoGym, Tecno, Thales Alenia Spazio.
They extend their professional activity as designers into research through institutional teaching and publishing essays on the culture of the project. They are professors at Scuola del Design of Politecnico di Milano and visiting professors at several universities abroad.Creators of the international projects Vino+Design presented at Expo Milano 2015. In 2016 they were chosen by ESA as curators for the Italian section of the project Couture in Orbit.
Annalisa Dominoni graduated with honours in architecture from Milan University in the 1990s, specialising in industrial design.
Her thesis project entitled “Atlante” was awarded the Bonetto Plaque in 1992, the M.A.G.A’s first national prize for visual arts in 1993, and the 17th Young People’s Golden Compass Award in 1995.
After a variety of experiences in the field of design working for architecture and design firms in Paris and London she returned to Italy and, while continuing her design career, also began working as a journalist for leading design magazines before going on to devise and establish “Techne” in 1999, an art and innovation magazine that she ran for three years.
In 2001 she was awarded a Ph.D. in industrial design from Milan Polytechnic, opening up a new realm of experimentation into design for extreme environments/conditions and establishing the role of design in the aerospace sector.
She developed projects at Milan Polytechnic’s Department of Design aimed at facilitating human space missions and making crews more comfortable, thanks to new objects and equipment custom-designed for confined spaces and micro-gravitational conditions.
She is the leader of international research teams and coordinates scientific projects with space agencies – ASI, ESA, NASA - and industries like Thales Alenia Spazio, Benetton, Kayser Italia.
The results of her projects have been presented at international symposiums and published in scientific journals.
She is the principal investigator for two experiments tested out in orbit on the International Space Station:
“Vest”, Marco Polo Mission, ASI, 2002, was selected by the 20th Golden Compass Awards for Research in 2004;
“Goal”, Eneide Mission, ESA, 2005, received the “Eneide Mission Award” from the ESA for the mission’s success.
She has been teaching in the Faculty of Design at Milan Polytechnic since 2001.
She is currently a professor of product and fashion design and visiting professor at various foreign universities in the fields of design, technological innovation and art.
Her books include: “disegno industriale per la progettazione spaziale” from 2002, “esercizi creativi di design. il processo creativo nel design del prodotto ambientale per la didattica” from 2008, “per designer con la testa oltre le nuvole” from 2012, “forma e materia. design e innovazione per il tessile italiano” from 2012.
In 2010 she wrote an essay entitled “space design” for thea “nuova enciclopedia treccani del XXI secolo”.
view previous works
Born into a family of antiquarians, Benedetto Quaquaro graduated in architecture at Genoa University in the 1980s, specialising in naval design. He immediately began working with furniture companies, which led him to discover his passion for design. He was asked to join Tecno’s Project Centre as a project manager, a job that allowed him to develop objects, installations and major public spaces in partnership with architects and designers of the calibre of Norman Foster, Emilio Ambasz, Gae Aulenti, J.M. Wilmotte. During this same period, he coordinated the development of the Aby-Borsani furniture collection for Tecno, philological re-editions of historical projects and concepts by important international artists, such as Man Ray, Bruno Munari, François and Frédéric Morellet, Getulio Alviani, Agenore Fabbri, Arnaldo Pomodoro and Luigi Veronesi.
In the mid-1990s he decided to focus on architecture and open a firm in Santa Margherita Ligure, mainly working on renovating buildings and maintaining close links with his antiquarian origins, which soon led him to experiment with the assembly of new forms and types of antique furniture.
From 2001-2010 he was a founding partner of Archiworkshop in Milan, which operated in the field of architecture and interior/space planning, while still running his firm in Santa Margherita Ligure, so that he could continue his work in antiques, design and restoration. The most important architecture works he has completed include various factories in China, Romania and Switzerland, pilot projects in the chemical-pharmaceutical industry working as part of international teams with engineering companies such as foster wheeler for companies like Novartis, Bracco, Bristol Meyer Squibb, and sanitary facilities and offices.
He was the curator of the exhibitions “medesign. le forme del mediterraneo” held in 2003 for the living section, whose installation was designed by Sottsass, and “denso design. forme di osmosi tecnologica” held in 2006 in conjunction with Genoa University and Villa Croce Contemporary Art Museum in Genoa.
In 2009 he intensified his work in the field of design, developing concepts and products for Ferrero and beginning a working partnership with Cerruti Baleri, which led to the creation of the “Scalo” products in 2009, “Tok” bookcase system in 2010, and “Dividendo” in co-production with Caoscreo.
While pursuing his design career he has also written for l’Arca International magazine and teaches in the Faculty of Design at Milan Polytechnic and in the Faculty of Architecture at Genoa University, where he was awarded a Ph.D. in industrial design.
view previous works