What can sophisticated Italian design do with the lowly rad, you know, those cast iron relics from the past, stand-alone hot water radiators that sit on the floor? Quite a lot. Designed by acclaimed designer Ludovica Serafini and architect Roberto Palomba, the RIFT line of TUBE radiators is a series of sleek, modular units which can be mounted in a variety of alignments, horizontally, vertically or inverted to create symmetrical or asymmetrical wall decorations. These radiators do not sit on the floor. RIFT radiators meld into the interior space and when coupled with matching accessories like shelving, become pieces of furniture in themselves. Their versatility makes them perfect for living rooms, bedrooms and when coupled with heated towel racks, the bathroom too. “It is a functional product with a minimalist elegance which enables the architect to design the composition which fits their needs best,” says Roberto Palomba. The duo created their studio, Palomba Serafini Associati in 1994, a compendium of commercial and residential architecture, interior design and furniture and have won numerous international awards for their simple yet bold creations. Palomba has also served as a professor of industrial design at the Politecnico di Milano, Milan’s polytechnic school. Made of extruded aluminum in a variety of lengths and widths, RIFT radiators come in 200 available colours coated in 90/130 micron thick thermostat polyester powder-based paint. The paints have low amounts of lead, chrome and hexavalent chromium and are therefore rated eco-friendly. RIFT is available in electric or hot water versions but alas, mostly in Europe. There is one North American dealership in Toronto. The manufacturer says they will gladly ship anywhere in the world.