The young Turin designer talks about his creative path in a confidential interview.
1 . Let’s start from the past: tell me about your initial projects, how they enriched you and what traces they left in your current design life.
I started my career working in the field of graphic design, art and illustration to continue and fall in love with product design. I immediately wanted to know the technologies and processes that could make my ideas into real things, so I spent most of my time in printers and factories, a practice not yet lost. This has always led to a careful technical analysis of what is initially only a concept, sometimes abstract. My point of view is to have your head in the clouds while walking with your feet on the ground.
2 . With your projects you go from coffee tables to bowls for dogs. What is the difference between each of them and what is your approach to design?
Curiosity is the basis of the design transversality. Inventing something gives me the opportunity to deepen and study the subject in its various complexities and it is the most satisfying thing that can exist, although there is not much difference in the method. If I had to always work in the same field, I would be very bored and would still be constantly looking for new stimuli; I like to mix the cards and try approaches deriving from unconventional perspectives in the sector of reference, I am not referring only to the aesthetic level but to the entire creative process.
3 . If you had to summarize it, would you be able to say what the essence of your design is?
4 . Are there designers you follow who have helped you in your training and who you use as a source of inspiration?
Certainly yes, but none in particular. During the University years, I idolized Philippe Starck.
5 . What kind of training did you follow? Are there any other non-academic experiences that have helped to chart your path?
The studies were initially oriented to the world of advertising graphics, my point of reference, in fact, was an illustrious fellow citizen: Armando Testa. Then, still in doubt whether to undertake Paleontology (but this is another story), I enrolled in the Faculty of Architecture at the Polytechnic of Turin. Convinced of wanting to be an architect, thanks to a change of race I let myself be enchanted by industrial design also thanks to the period spent in Milan at the studio of Giulio Iacchetti and Matteo Ragni. I had many ‘alien’ experiences, so that most of my influences don’t derive from the world of design, but perhaps a dedicated interview would be needed for this in-depth analysis!
6 . How important is irony in your projects?
‘Freedom begins with irony’, quoting Victor Hugo; some of my projects (many still in the drawer) apparently frighten, seem to come out of horror films and sometimes tell dark stories but which, precisely through irony, take on a friendly and burlesque appearance.
7. Are there recurring ideas that support your projects and research?
It depends on the type of project. Technical-formal rigor are aspects reserved for projects more conventionally linked to industrial design or graphics, where research on the use of materials with less impact on the environment and the ruduction of production processes are fundamental for me; in these cases there is not always much room for narration. The discourse changes when I can spread my wings more and try to tell stories that are less conventional to the reference field, at which point irony returns to be the protagonist and with it some recurring themes dear to me.
8. What do you think of the limited edition design?
I find it an interesting theme which, even more so, can leave room for concepts far beyond the ordinary, in other cases less received by the public.
9 . Lately you combine your activity as a designer with that of a teacher at the Polytechnic of Turin. What message do you send to your students about their approach to the world of design?
The in-depth knowledge of the technique, history and context in which one operates is the basis of an ability to re-elaborate an idea of a project.
10 . A project that you would like to carry out in the future and with whom?
By doing this job I have become superstitious, so I will confide my wishes only to the shooting stars!
Written by Federica Ciotola – teacher, architect and interior designer