CTRLZAK
"Our philosophy mixes different cultures, disciplines and viewpoints"

CTRLZAK is a hybrid studio that integrates different disciplines and cultures.

Founded by artists and designers Katia Meneghini and Thanos Zakopoulos, the duo’s creations are inspired by their experiences around the globe, their own rich cultural backgrounds, and the natural world that surrounds us.

Our methodology is based on meticulous research, so depending on the project we have each time a different approach related to the questions at hand.
The studio creates artworks, objects and spaces but above all points of reflection where form follows meaning. CTRLZAK’s projects and extensive research into tradition and cultural context create a new hybrid future by learning continuously from the past. Each project is a story waiting to be told, with a multitude of forms and endings. Each one experiments with diverse methods of narration where symbolism and irony go beyond aesthetics and functionality in order to make people contemplate their actions and the world that we live in.

The founders, Katia Meneghini and Thanos Zakopoulos, are both artists and designers in their own right. The Italian-Greek duo’s creations are inspired by their travels and experiences around the world and by their own rich cultural backgrounds. The studio creates artworks, objects and spaces but — above all — situations where people can come together in order to make what really matters: human relations.

Ligomancer, designed for JCP in 2016, is a sofa where lines become form: a piece going beyond the mere aesthetic and surpassing standard conceptions of functionality.

CTRLZAK studio orchestrates JCP Universe alongside Live Ballabio.

Brainchild of a radical think tank held in Milan in 2015, JCP was conceived by architect Livio Ballabio and is orchestrated by CTRLZAK studio. The result is a fusion between art and design, as the brand’s creations blend classic and contemporary style in a surprising new idiom that defies the norms.

For us it is important above all to have an open mind free of preconditions and stereotypes, creating work which is founded on meticulous research and reflection.
The unique objects featured go beyond mere aesthetics, trends and common taste promising to transform everyday life. Using hybridization and a multidisciplinary approach as distinguishing features, the presented designs investigate the theme of time perception between physics and imagination.

The creations of the JCP universe are like contemporary artifacts that interpret notions of the past through new forms and technologies projecting them at the same time in a future dimension. With JCP a new extra-ordinary reality is taking shape; the past blends with the future and vice versa, in a continuous transformation.

The fruits of the collaboration have already been rewarded, as seen with the Kryptal lamp, which was awarded the 2018 Winner Best Rocks Wallpaper Design Award in the UK.

 

The team consists of five members: Sergio Daolio, Thimios Apostolakis, Roberta Co, Federico Ghignoni and Nadia Vlasopoulou.

Sergio Daolio was born and brought up in Milan, where he still lives when he is not travelling around the world.His passion for travelling, coupled with that of motorcycles, has taken him to places normally unreachable by most.

Everything around us is a source of inspiration and especially the things that many people do not see discarding them as mundane.
On the other hand his practical mind coupled with his experience on furniture restoration (a passion which has led him to two years of specialised courses on the subject) make him an expert on finding the right solutions behind most structures. On top of that his connection with the art world has provided him with an understanding of symbolisms and aesthetics very much needed in the collaborative projects that he partakes with the studio.

Thimios Apostolakis is a product designer based in Greece who’s approach in the design process comes from GST (General Systems Theory), a “holistic” way of thinking, which allows him to get feedback from several fields (from aesthetics to ergonomics and from environmental to branding issues).

A “holistic” way of thinking

He has taken part in several workshops and seminars in Automotive Design, Architecture, Product Design, as well as in international exhibitions presenting concepts and products.

A hybrid team.         Reflection not design. Art not decoration.
Thimios has worked in numerous projects as a CTRLZAK member, applying his deep knowledge in CAD/CAM methods and his construction skills in the fields of design development and project management/supervision.

Roberta Co was born in Milan on April 10, 1986. She studied Interior Design at Politecnico di Milano and also obtained a Masters Degree in the same specialist course. Since 2007, she has gained experience in the field of architecture and design working with various design studios dealing with architecture, interior design, product design and graphics.

At present she collaborates with CTRLZAK Art & Design Studio while she also follows her own projects.

Oglof, designed for JCP in 2016, is a mysterious of unidentified form that creates curiosity and apprehension to the unsuspecting humans that encounter it.

Federico Ghignoni started his academic career in design at IUAV University of San Marino.

There he attended theoretical and practical courses taught by important designers and design critics such as Riccardo Blumer, Alberto Bassi and many more.

Travelling is also a very large part of our inspiration pool. Coming into contact with new cultures and diverse environments is fundamental we believe for one’s cultural education.
After his bachelor degree he moved to London where he was involved into The Mill project by the R.A.R.A. Collective, which consisted in the re-design and realization of a community centre in Walthamstow.

In his design approach he places emphasis on processing techniques, material properties and functional tools that lead to the creation of objects with actual meanings (at least that’s what he likes to think…). He’s also interested in Philosophy, History, comics, hard rock, LEGO, sci-fi, fantasy worlds and conspiracy theories.

These interests have created in him a personal ethical code regarding the meaning and value that an object has to have during the design process and consequently in the world.

Agaxa Stool, designed for JCP in 2016, is made from diverse Nabuk hand sanded pieces of leather and diverse Cavallino pieces of leather on iron structure in two finishes: matte “tailor made” gold or polished black chrome.

Nadia Vlasopoulou is a multifarious personality with an eclectic range of interests. A non-civil engineer, with studies in interior design; she has always been passionate about art, styling, fashion, photography, metaphysics and the attractive world of design. She currently lives in Milan, where she collaborates with the studio, while trying to figure out ways to combine her several obsessions and interests with a simple daily routine.​

CTRLZAK’s creations have been extensively exhibited in galleries around the world and their work has been selected by museums and institutions like MOMA, the Louvre and the Venice Art Biennale, to name a few.