Your table 25 for Desalto has been awarded with the Compasso d’Oro prize in 2014. How did you develop it?
The idea was to create the strongest and thinnest table on the market. We found out a soft spot: thin tables were always supported by a gradually thickened surface on the bottom that you don’t usually see. At the moment we were working on composite fibers and particularly with carbon fiber for another project so we tried to employ the fiber ‘the architectural way’ using it to contrast the natural forces under compression.
How do you interpret research on materials and manufacturing processes?
Actually materials and research, but also technology are the main drive in my daily practice. As I am writing we’re developing a quite complex project that started from a manufacturing technology often used in the automotive field. Perhaps it will be ready for the next Salone…
How did you first become interested in design? When you were teenager, did you want to become a designer?
No. I wanted to be a musician, a drummer. But I was good at the drawing table, studying fine arts and my architecture teacher encouraged us students to read architecture and design magazines during class hours. There were many things I liked in those magazines so I got enrolled in SPD.
Becoming boring for the brain and dull for the eye. This is probably the biggest challenge designers face. How do you avoid this risk?
Developing the project from A to Z including the prototype. Finding good suppliers to help you with solutions to problems. Only then you have to contact the companies that are likely to be interested. That way projects undergo less dramatic changes across the development phases in the company. The other way is to have an irresistible charisma, which personally I don’t have.
What is the role of ethics in industrial design?
I like the quote ‘As little designed as possible’ which is the title of a great book dedicated to the work of Dieter Rams, one of my top 3 favourite designers, along with Jean Prouvè and the Eames. It means to me keeping things as ‘right’ as possible. No overdesign, no use of unnecessary material, in terms of quantity but also number of materials. The 25 table is an example. This is my personal contribution to design ethics.