Story: The union of architecture, art, and color

The infinite nuances of geometry

There is a place in the far south of Switzerland where the lush green of the Mendrisiotto hills creates space for the creativity of an artist who gives life to geometries of colors.

Originally from Sicily but a Ticino native at heart, Eleonora Castagnetta, born in 1980, now lives and works in Ticino. She first encountered the area while studying at the Academy of Architecture in Mendrisio. Ticino, a land of bright, unique colors, suits Eleonora well and so in 2018 she opened the AnD – Arts n Design Studio in Mendrisio and created her own brand of contemporary jewelry and design for individuals, AnD SWISS.


Eleonora Castagnetta, Multicolor Architect

Eleonora Castagnetta, Multicolor Architect
I have always taken my inspiration from encounters with places or nature.

Architecture has always been part of Eleonora's life. Ever since childhood, she has been surrounded by books, drawings, materials, sketches, photos of places, and objects featuring tricks of geometry. Eleonora already knew from an early age that she wanted a career in that field, so she first studied humanities and then studied at the Academy of Architecture in Mendrisio.

The wealth of skills acquired during her degree opened many doors for her and so, pursuing her great passion for architecture, Eleonora worked at the Mario Botta Architetti studio for 13 years, handling various projects, mostly in Switzerland.

In 2018, the need to focus more on design, exhibition installations, and interior projects led to a turning point, when she opened her own studio in Mendrisio and created her own brand AnD SWISS, which unites all her interests in a single work of art: designer jewelry.

But the hallmark of her projects? In addition to the geometries, it's definitely color!
And it is precisely with color that Eleonora expresses the freedom of her thoughts, synthesized in a rigid and geometric language.

Even the overall impression created by multiple colors in combination is never accidental.

Colored enamels, precious materials such as gold and silver, packaging made of Swiss pear wood or innovative materials, everything carefully thought out down to the last detail to enhance the shape of the jewelry. For her design projects, on the other hand, she uses more compact, dense materials, with textures that convey materiality and reflect light. She gets her inspiration from encounters with places or nature that trigger a spark, and her goal is the union of her ideas with the addition of a little joy, represented by color.

San Giovanni Battista, Mogno

"Mognolo", for example, the series of two silver pinky rings, was inspired by the Church of San Giovanni Battista in Mogno, designed by Mario Botta.

Santa Maria degli Angeli, Monte Tamaro
Pro tip
Architour: a tradition that has reinvented itself over the centuries. The guided walk offers the chance to discover some of the most representative buildings built in the 20th and 21st centuries on the banks of the Ceresio.
Ticino is a land of culture and artists. The unique beauty of the monuments and works of art will leave you amazed. All around, history, architecture, and art blend harmoniously with the natural landscape.
Did you know there is a huge variety of churches in Ticino? From the small, charming Romanesque churches of the valleys, to the monumental city churches, and even those by famous architects.

The main spark for her creations always comes from architecture and its protagonists, but with a cerebral filter: the result is a geometric object, conceptual and consistent with the architecture that inspired it.

There are many phases of this process: inspiration, coming up with a concept, creating a shape through drawing, implementation studies, research, creation of prototypes, refining the details, even more research and design.

In fact, the great thing about my job is just that - the critical approach to every architectural or design project is always the same.

Each piece has its own meaning and conveys emotion. It all depends on the story it tells and the moment when it was created. There are many works of art and architecture that speak for themselves in Ticino.

It was here the architect and designer Castagnetta discovered the fascinating culture linked to the region and its colors that elicit big emotions and small moments of joy.

“Architecture can be called the lifeblood of all my projects.”