Extract of the Interview for Lifeathome by Raphael Rossel
All your designs focus on materiality and the way materials are used. What is the driving force behind this urge to use natural materials – in a natural way overall?
Every material has its own aesthetic, haptic and mechanical properties. There are countless different materials out there and even more ways of combining them. It's this multitude of possibilities that fascinates me – each material adapts in a certain way to fit a certain role. I always feel obliged to choose the right one. As far as I'm concerned, the material is key to the design of a project.
What would you say was your approach to designing a new object?
I don't have the same approach to all my projects. I enjoy finding new angles and discovering new ways of thinking about a piece. For “Neolithic”, for example, I spent a lot of time in Ticino's granite quarries hunting for scraps that local companies had rejected. When I designed “Le Suisse”, on the other hand, I was chained to my computer for hours on end meticulously crafting every last detail.
A lot of designers create something that already exists; your approach is rather poetic. How come?
The design for an object or a piece of furniture emerges naturally. As the design process unfolds, I make the decisions that I feel fit best with the ultimate aim of the object itself. The poetry in “Neolithic” comes straight from the richness in the natural stone and it was the decision to leave it rough that gives it its poetic element. In each of my projects, I want to find its true essence – the fundamental characteristics that it needs in order to become a good piece of work and to express its original idea in the best possible way.
Read the exclusive Giulio Parini UNBOXED portrait & interview