Does Italian Design still mean something today?
The difference between the Italian design of the past and the one of today is that today it’s more international.
Italian design was born in the 50s, a collaboration between young italian designers at the time such as Gio Ponti, Achille Castiglioni, Marco Zanusso and many others, and some entrepreneurs who strongly believed in the design business. Slowly the global panorama was changing and that’s why, at the beginning of the 80s, I started to get out into the world to check out what was going on. On one hand Italian design was still very important but I strongly believed that something important was happening in the world, I started then to cooperate with young talents from England, France, USA, Japan and so on.
Today Italian design is still important on one side the designers, Italian or international, and on the other side the Italian industries, some of which still believe in research and innovation and are ready to take their own risks. It’s crucial, for Italian design, to create products that can be sold in Milan but at the same time in Paris, New York, Singapore and so on.
Design needs to come out of the museum and enter into peoples homes. This is the aim of design.
You said once the biggest provocation is to be “normal”
Yes, sometimes I think it is more difficult to be “normal” than to do something that is special. To be “normal” is to try to make products with innovation and creativity but at the same time products that are functional. A product with a strong image that people can use everyday. “normal” doesn’t mean something stupid or simple but a project with a strong concept. I think this is the real way to do design. Developing “normal” projects in this way you create long sellers instead of best sellers.
Is Milan still the capital of design?
I still believe so. During the Salone del Mobile in April, people come from all arounf the world to see what is new and discover the new trends. More than 90% of the design companies in the world are based in Italy.