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We thought we’d address a series of short interviews to the designers we esteem and offer our readers the opportunity to take a look at the “backstage” of things, the so-called inanimate objects. That are not so much inanimate…
These quick exchanges actually reveal to us the pulsating of an intense thought, which designs by investigating, in cooperation with the manufacturers, tuned with the Brands we love.
After the initial training on the scene of Milanese design, Paolo Lucidi and Luca Pevere opened their studio in Udine, engaged in the constant challenge of creating new types of products, which starts from the search for materials to the study of unprecedented technologies.
The synergy with the research by Foscarini led to the birth of the collection of Aplomb lamps, made with an exclusive cement paste that expresses a strong dialogue between architecture and design.
1. Is there a specific experience, linked to your personal story, that triggered your passion for design?
Paolo. My father had a small furniture store and as a child I often would spent hours there. I still remember the smell of the new kitchens and the amazement in front of some new pieces that we hosted. Then the Sello, the Art Institute of Udine, the collaborations in some architecture studios and a few years in a company. Eventually, the course of Industrial Design at the Politecnico in Milan.
Luca. More than an experience, it was a precise moment during the last year of scientific secondary school, when the teacher made us draw the three perspective views of a coffee maker. That’s when I really realised that there was not just a single concept of artistic drawing, but rather a specific discipline that brought together drawing and the objects that surround us.
2. What is design for you?
Basically, a search for meaning. We try to give shape to an industrial or artisanal process that is aimed at a material, a constructive or typological idea, aligning with the times we live in.
3. What processes are you interested in when planning?
The process always reveals a lot of information and as such it is essential to understand it. Besides being fascinating to look at in itself. Almost hypnotizing.
4. In terms of furniture, what does maximum luxury mean to you in a broad sense?
Even a humble and simple object, if placed in a large empty room, can become very precious and has the opportunity to tell its story. Luxury iexpresses itself to the fullest when there’s absence and silence, but it is essential that it has something to tell.
A lot of things. It must wonder about many aspects of its work and how they are impacting the ecosystem. The obsolescence of "things", to give just one example, is one of them. As we know, there is not only planned obsolescence - perhaps the most deleterious and criminal of all - but also functional obsolescence, which feeds dumps all over the world. Then there is, so to say, "semantic obsolescence" when we draw with the astuteness of a stylist. We have always been committed - sometimes successfully, sometimes less effectively – trying to create sober and durable products.
Paolo. It gives me energy and enthusiasm. I physically suffer method, ritual and the planning. This is also a big problem, as enthusiasm is not for long journeys in the middle of the desert, but for short off-piste trips. If you no longer find the way, the risk is to run out of gas. I'm working on it.
Luca. I’ve always had a good relationship with routine and habits, they make me feel in harmony with time and space. But I think we also need the right amount of chance and uncertainty to avoid boredom, it being for us designers the grave of creativity. Basically, I think there’s a need for order and disorder, without one you would not appreciate the other and experience would not have the value it deserves.
7. Which aspect of Foscarini is most exciting in stimulating your ideas?
We approached Foscarini more than ten years ago for the value it gave to innovation, for the curiosity they had in understanding processes and materials and for the determination it adapted them to their needs with, while respecting the workers. It was certainly this that has always guided and stimulated us more.
8. Aplomb is a collection of lamps with a strong materiality, it contains a reminiscence: the plumb line of bricklayers. The development of an idea often takes place through hidden paths, the result of dialogue and comparison, or through personal and intimate processes. Which was the path that led to Aplomb? Does the outdoor version have other peculiarities besides the technical ones?
The genesis of the project is a complex melting pot of stimulations, sensations and connections that all convey in an object, all in all very simple.
The logical link derived from what we were designing at the time: outdoor pots in different materials, including earth and cement.
The feeling we experienced in those years was that of a certain annoyance for the objects that simulated the Apple aesthetic: white and perfect, always the same.
The reasoning that then defined the object was the association between Brand and type of lamp. The small suspension was the right one to express the weight and the world of reference.
In general, the creative process that leads to a new product is initially intimate, the spark, so to speak, and then it necessarily becomes choral. In this sense, the parts of the project are defined along the way, together. The choice to create an outdoor version - natural cement speaks almost more the external rather that the internal language - was mainly determined by Foscarini.
9. What couldn't your home do without?
Paolo. A green space. The eleven years in Milan have been a pain.
Luca. Even for me green is essential, as well as natural light. We left Milan also for this reason. Taking care of the garden is something that gives me peace and allows me to think while my hands move independently. Something that in recent times I am even more thankful to have. I consider it true luxury.