You have been involved with Salone in previous years. What do you like most about Salone and what do you think it does for Milano?
Milan is a pretty calm city compared to other big centers in Europe. Design Week (and also Fashion Week) are the only moment we really feel like we are the center of the world. Milan is still an important reference for design and during this week it delivers the best! And its elegant architecture naturally matches with good design! The best and most active area is Ventura/Lambrate District: I’ll be there with a project called “I love mom” for Padiglione Italia.
What do you think is the most important factor in design? Materials? Produce? Audience? What do you value most in your designs? What makes them different?
I think the balance of these factors is the most important ingredient of design: you can design the most beautiful and sophisticated product, which turns out to be uselessl if the audience isn’t ready for it yet.
In my designs I always value the graphic aspect and the surfaces. This is one of the first things I approach a project with. Its also important that an object’s aim is never solely to be decorative.
This year you are collaborating with Spazio900 for Salone. Can you tell me a bit about the project and how it came about?
This year I’ll have many collaborations: Padiglione Italia, cc-tapis and Ambrosiana (with Spazio 900) are the most important.
“Ambrosiana” is a collection inspired by the city of Milan, designed in collaboration with Cristina Celestino and Elena Salmistraro. We were looking for an exhibition place and we found the perfect location: Spazio 900. In this showroom our collection deeply connected with Milan, and will be shown close to the masterpieces of the most important milanese designers from the past (Ponti, Mangiarotti, Aulenti…). So we also had the chance to design the exhibition and chose amongst a lot of amazing pieces of furniture which made it feel really special!
You have worked on commercial and residential projects over the years. What do you like most about each? Where do you find the most freedom?
Commercial projects are most fun: you can play with materials and styles because these are places and companies that are interested in staying fresh and new. They are also not afraid to sometimes shock their consumers.
Your next stop is New York! What are you most looking forward to and how will you bring your intrinsically Italian style to such a global, American city?
New York will be a completely brand new world for me. I visited the US a couple of times but I’ve never worked there. I think that Italian people have style but what most charaterises us is the way we do and react to things. Our education and culture gave us more flexibility: Americans are very specialized while Mediterraean people have a “can do” attitude towards everything and anything, even when we really have no idea if we can manage!
Who are some of your favourite designers or the creative people you are looking forward to seeing at Salone this year?
I love all the designers that mix products, textiles and graphic designs: Hella Jongerius is the best one, but I also like Patricia Urquiola and Doshi Levien Studio.