MotherBoard by Romolo Stanco



Milan 09: Italian architect Romolo Stanco exhibited a mirror etched with electric circut patterns in Milan this April.


Called MotherBoard, the project was on show at Edizoni Galleria Colombari as part of an exhibition called Ecotranspop.


The pattern is laser-etched inside the glass.


The mirrors have an optional backlight and have been made in rectangular, round and square shapes.


See all our stories from Milan 09 in our special category.

Here's some more info from Romolo Stanco:


MotherBoard is an object with a strong conceptual value, a mirror which – thanks to a sophisticated laser technique – includes an out of scale trace borrowed from electronic circuits.


MotherBoard generates a graphic interpretation of reflected reality, and affirms its “pop” attitude by cancelling the functional meaning of a technical object. It exclusively turns the object – a mirror – into its own representation. Much the same way, Jasper Johns turns the US flag into its own image, thus making it a piece of art.


MotherBoard, however, isn't meant for contemplation. It's an object that captures and alters the reflected image, giving back an alternative reality, violated by elements that only belong to the mirror's material – not to the “real” world that is represented by the mirror itself.


The object thus actively starts a transfiguration of the image, while the human observer becomes aware that s(he) belongs to an era, a specific culture where the sense and meaning of commonly employed tools is lost.


Thus, the traces of printed circuits are “tattooed” on the most harmless object, traditionally intended to show a two dimensional copy of reality.


The traces are etched inside the mirror's crystal (not on the surface) thanks to a laser technology usually employed in neurosurgery.

MOTHERBOARD: FUORISALONE 2009 Specially made for the ECOTRANSPOP exhibit

Design: Romolo Stanco

Crystal mirror with laser engravings made inside the glass slab (not on the mirror's surface); therefore, they're untouchable. No frame, extra bright glass, (optionally) backlit.
Size: rectangular cm 45x90; round diam. cm 45; square cm 45x45
Galleria Colombari, 10 Maroncelli St., Milan

More Dezeen stories about Romolo Stanco:



Grill X



Posted on Friday June 5th 2009 at 12:30 am by Rachel Blunstone. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • obayashi

    IMO, a redundant effort. A mirror should be what it is, a plain simple reflective surface to accurately reflect the object, minus the frills and fuss of decorative elements which just made it simply painful to look at. Sorry for the blatant opinion.

  • onvn

    Not sure if I understand the value in this design. So it is meant to evoke a sensory experience, be a functional object, not an object of contemplation, but also a graphic representation of today’s technological world (whereby contemplation is necessary)? It seems like a never ending paradox. It also doesn’t ‘alter’ the mirror image all that much but rather more a filter that distracts the 100% mirroring of whatever is in front of the object.

    Interesting use of the laser etching technology though! and it is quite lucid that it is meant to have a connection with the electric circuit motif.

  • Guybrush

    Useful. I mean, who won’t desire a mirror with a circuit etched on it?

  • matt

    such a pity you can’t watch yourself properly with this design…

  • FG

    – Oooh…what’s that ?

    – A mirror with etched circuitry patterns on it.

    – Oh that’s cool ! what does it do, does it light up when you touch its surface, does it take a photograph, does it transform into a window so you can see the weather outside with the help of a concealed camera? Let me try !

    – Whatever it does, its doing it right now…

    – Oh, so it does nothing?

    – No sir. It’s a mirror.

    – I see. But why? What if that circuitry was actual circuitry, you know, doing things circuitry does ?

    – Yeah, well, it does nothing. Its techno-ornament for the sake of it. I did not hear you complain when everything was covered with flowery arabesques. This is the new cool buzz, alright? Don’t like it, then move along. Nothing to see here. Go back to work; let’s see if you can come up with something better…

  • modular


  • M

    oh my !!! ….what a waste of a project

  • I suppose, but why the circuitry? If it is just the point to have the reflection filtered, to not be 100% what it is, why a motherboard?

  • great that you came up with the masterpiece, mr architect, but why such elaborate ‘conceptual’ poetics describing it? its just a mirror with a laser etched pattern.

  • Prof. Z

    “When I’m sitting in front of my computer screen or facing a white sheet, I just need to express my ideas in a more definite way, turning what’s already real in my mind into something concrete.” Romolo Stanco
    If you see only you , only your beautiful face on your computer screen, become a model not de designer.

  • Giorgio

    It’s funny because the only thing that differentiates this mirror from a normal one is a limitation of its function !!! :D

  • Prof. Z
  • jed_

    Massaud ’s is beautiful, poetic & mysterious but so simple. this is awful. the etching thing reminds me of those clear cube, prism, sphere things you get in tacky gift shops with images of a local landmark in them or even, god forbid, images of your own family floating inside. those are, what, 10+ years old? this is about as tacky as they are.

  • Prof. Z

    what is the role of a designer?

    We have the answers of a “Genius designer” as Starck ( XO with art reference to Dali ) or Massaud ( from glass to mirror) or the answer of an “arty” designer Romolo Stanco in a famous Milan design galerie…
    is it ego design?is it user centered design? What we need?

    My answers:
    -mirror to see your face (basic mirror)
    -mirror to dream or to think?
    -mirror with no condensation (in a wet room)
    -mirror to see more details(X)
    -mirror with informations = e-mirror ( what clothes? Umbrella? Traffic jam?) for anybody or only for me…

  • Well it’s pretty, but not very functional. I much prefer the London Tube Map mirror, with all the stations etched on.

    Useful as well as aesthetically pleasing.

  • Prof. Z

    see also this interactive mirror

  • Prof. Z

    il love also this one by Suck Uk … before to take my car

  • dsgngurunyc

    Oh dear. I really dont see any merit in this at all. There is a difference between design and ornamentation.

  • debra jean

    Please tell me where I can find the cool chairs at “X” Grill that Romolo Stanco designed…..Thanks