MFL 57 – Ferruccio Laviani: “Industrial design connects architecture with design”

Ferruccio Laviani with the Geen-a lamp for Kartell (photo Peppe Tortora)

An eternal love for music, for Cairo and Paris, a passion for the history of industrial design and its protagonists. Ferruccio Laviani was born in Cremona, but he is a citizen of the world. Sign for Foscarini, Bisazza, Lea ceramic, LondonArt and is the creative director of Cartel since 1991, when he also opened his own studio. Since then, he has signed many objects that have written design history, such as the Good vibration piece of furniture F.lli Boffiacquired from Mad-Museum of Decorative Arts of Paris and now part of its permanent collection.

You are a student at the Politecnico di Milano. What is left of the study years in your way of understanding the project?

Architecture was a path imposed by my father. I had chosen violin making, and before that I wanted to become an Egyptologist and study Oriental languages ​​in Venice … The first four years were not of great importance, but in the last, to attend some courses such as. Corrado Levi who had brought names like Jannis Kounellis, Alexander Mendini And Michele De Lucchi, I understood that was my calling. The headquarters of Piazza Leonardo da Vinci was a mixed world of personalities and characters. I arrived here at Bovisa years later, as an assistant.

Who is the artist or architect, without whom Italian design would lack the foundation?

I believe that all designers are important. There must necessarily be a study element that can then be used or not, but it is essential. Above all, the history from the post-war period onwards, that which can be traced back to industrial design, to that which binds the architecture to the object, is essential. Moreover, the theme is very topical because industrial design is so-called, because it is performed by industries, and it is crucial that there is a distinction from the limited edition or the unique work that is conceived as a work of art. The period between the 70s and the late 90s laid the foundation for this experimentation.

Where is the strength of craftsmanship and industry?

The basic idea stems from an applied manual skill that gets the most out of industrial production. Never like today, when we are facing a cultural, industrial and craft crisis, can these two elements coexist. There are no limits, just as there are no limits to creativity. The two worlds can find each other and express themselves in the best possible way.

He recently signed a collection inspired by Sicily for Not.o. What binds you to this country, to the aesthetics of the Mediterranean and its craftsmanship?

The project Known was born of anger. I was teaching at a private school in Catania, and the boys complained about the difficulty of living on an island, as if it were a frontier of knowledge. I made them understand that not only in this historical period is it possible to move more easily, but that in Sicily up to the mid-90s there were groundbreaking realities. And so that they have all the crafts, history, architecture to study on. So when this great Sicilian dealer suggested I do something with local workers, I immediately liked the idea. I have shown that with a little energy you can do many things.

The object he is photographed with, the Geen-a lamp, also tells of his partnership with Kartell. A real bond …

This relationship, which this year celebrates 32 years, has changed my life. I left Michele De Lucchi’s studio, which I was a partner in, and today I’m still there. In the first condition we had a total of eight products, today it is a huge volume. The intervention of Philippe Starck he was instrumental in the interpretation of plastics, and along with his contributions, there are many moments that in recent decades have brought Kartell back to a leading role in the design world. It is always a challenge and it is demanding. We need to keep the antennas up, questioning ourselves. This story is mirrored by the change that every person makes in 30 years of life.

What did you do for Salone del mobile.Milano?

There is the table version of the Mini Geen-a, as well as the concepts for the stands at the fair and for the Kartell showroom, in via Turati. For Foscarini, I created a new lamp and designed the scenography for the flagship store in Corso Monforte. In addition, I am a special guest at Litta palads for the project «Double signature» in collaboration with the sculptor Leone Villari. Finally, I designed a series of large format tiles for Lea Ceramiche.

A music to draw?

Music is still in second place after my work, a true love. Today I could say Charlotte Adigéry or Joni Mitchell or a techno record. But in general, they are random, a bit like in projects.

A heart city?

Cairo for various reasons. And then definitely Paris.

A colour?

Every time I say it is orange, but also just because yellow and red are my favorites. Orange is energetic in the right place to combine the two. (All rights reserved)

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