Milan, Italy

Launched in Milan in 2008, CTRLZAK is a hybrid studio creating artworks, design objects, and spaces inspired by diverse cultures and the natural world. Cofounders Katia Meneghini and Thanos Zakopoulos undertake extensive research into cultural context and traditions for every project, and they see their work as “points of reflection where form follows meaning.” Through their highly conceptual projects, they aim “to make people contemplate their actions and the world that we live in.” 

To date, standout projects include Quartz (2013), a furniture system inspired by the perfect geometry found in nature, and Precious (2015), a see-through safe designed for Spazio Pontaccio. Additionally, the CeramiX Art Collection (2010) consists of 24 original pieces derived from classic Chinese and European plates, bowls, vases and cups, reassembled as unusual remixes. The resulting objects reflect on the historical production of Chinese and European porcelain and centuries of cross-fertilization between Western and Eastern aesthetics. The follow-up Hybrid Collection (2011-2015), designed for Seletti, made this concept accessible to a broader audience through everyday porcelain tableware. The pieces are graphically divided between east and west, with a colored line marking the boundary between the two styles while, notably, simultaneously strengthening their union. Further, CTRLZAK is responsible for art direction and multiple designs for the Milan-based JCP; launched in 2015, JCP is a design brand producing works by the likes of Sam Baron, Richard Hutten, and other notable designers, as well as a selection of filmmakers, directors, artists, writers, and other creatives.

CTRLZAK has received multiple awards, including, but not limited to the 2014 Carpet Design Award (Best Innovation category) for the CC-Tapis Crossme(k)not Carpet. Their work has been exhibited in galleries around the globe, and their objects are included in the permanent collections of museums such as the Louvre in Paris and the MoMA in New York, among others.

Meneghini (born in 1981 Cittadella, Italy) studied graphic design and photography at Liceo Artistico Statale Michele Fanoli between 1995 and 2000. She went on to earn a degree in art history from the University of Ca’Foscari in Venice (2003) as well as a post-graduate certificate in fine and visual arts from the IUAV University of Venice (2006).  Zakopoulos (born in 1978 in Athens, Greece) studied art and design at the UK’s Southampton City College between 1996 and 1997; he then went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree with honors in product design and marketing from the Southampton Solent University (1997-2000). In 2006, he completed his studies with a post-graduate course in fine and visual arts at the IUAV University of Venice, where he also met Meneghini.