ONLY THE BEST: interview with Gisella Borioli & Giulio Cappellini
Research of the quality, beauty, commitment. The best has always been fundamental for Gisella & Giulio.
During the last Milan Design Week I partnered with Superstudio Più for the second time after DesignWanted was founded.
There is something special in this place, something that has to do with the thousands of designers and companies that here have exhibited through the years.
The famous Fuorisalone – design exhibitions made out of the fair and spread around the city of Milan – was also born here.
A perfect mix of talents, trends and innovations.
ONLY THE BEST was your manifesto at the last Milan Design Week. A concept that has permeated Superstudio Più right from its birth. Does ‘the best’ have kept its common traits since then? If so, may you mention a couple of examples?
GISELLA: I always worked as a journalist and editor in chief of top quality fashion and design issues.
Research of the quality, beauty, commitment, the best has always been fundamental for me, both when I got close to great personalities of the contemporary culture and promising young ones to either publish them or collaborate or put them on stage.
Quality has always come before the commercial logics.
A top background that has been the base of Superstudio Più’s project and our way of doing Fuorisalone.
An example is the choice and presence of Giulio Cappellini as art director right from the first edition, with whom we were the first ones to build a “less fair and more museum” format that would give space to research, culture of the product, emotions, interactions with art and all expressions of contemporaneity.
Another example is the freedom to host for free, or with a preferential treatment, young talents in which we see qualities. It happened, in their beginning, with Nendo, Marcel Wanders, Ineke Hans, and many others.
This year with the ONLY THE BEST claim, I wanted to recall and highlight together that we are always committed in this sense and make a difference with everything that burst in Milan during Design Week, not always high quality.
This year, Japan played a central role at SuperDesign Show. In your opinion, what are the most successful aspects of the Japanese design?
GISELLA: I personally love Japan and have a great interest in its culture, civilization, elegance, continuous research, respect for traditions, its poetry.
The occasion of the magical installation by Nendo as a big event at the last past Superdesign Show strengthened my idea to underline this entity also in the little things, like only the Japanese can do. And so, a bit as a coincidence, a bit as a choice, I “queued” requests that arrived and the ones I searched for.
The presence of a great architect such as Kengo Kuma, designer for Dassault Systèmes, completed the picture.
Nowadays, the word ‘smart’ is used in many different ways. In the case of ‘Smart Cities’, what does it exactly mean? In your opinion, what are the main aspects that make Milan a Smart City?
GISELLA: To me, inside the word “Smart” there is not just the latest technology that allows to interact with things, simplify the production, live in a hyper connected world, use transports that move itself or at supersonic speed even in residential centers.
It also means taking advantage of the intelligence to use free time and facilities that will come, to enhance human relations, to try to solve problems of the impoverished ones, to push research that concerns health and science, to put environment on the spotlight even with small actions, to think over the whole school and educational project that needs to prepare the new man of tomorrow.
In these last few years Milan has reborn.
It is as if Expo, with its such universal and “high” theme, has opened a door that had been closed for too long and has explosively let out all the vital force compressed of the city and its citizens.
The “Smart City” exhibition is a first little example with many perspectives.
This is why we have extended the period of its opening with distinguished guests, researchers, debates, confrontations for almost a month, well beyond Design Week.
In your opinion, has the idea of ‘talent’ changed over the years, due to the new technologies? Are new designers benefiting from them?
GIULIO: Today is certainly necessary to design considering new materials, technologies, production systems.
Talent is using contemporary research in your own creativity. Design isn’t just a gesture but a complex and well-structured process that involves the designer with the company’s research and development team.
Talent is creating objects that are new and better than the ones in the past.
Considering the multichannel society we are living in, what is the best way for a young designer to be ‘scouted’ by companies like Cappellini?
GIULIO: A young designer at the beginning of his career needs to make few projects and follow them carefully, from the initial idea to the final creation.
It takes time and patience at the beginning however if the designer good, serious and professional, sooner or later someone will notice. The important thing is the innovation and contemporaneity within the idea of the project.
The project Superloft, presented at this year Milan Design Week, was a collection of ‘Made in Italy’ iconic pieces aiming to reflect the tradition, culture and identity of people living in it. How did it match with the international vision you had on it?
GIULIO: I think there are similar yet not the same houses in the world and namely houses possibly furnished with the same furniture but that reflect the history, culture, tradition of the countries in which they are lived in.
Surely many italian companies produce many iconic objects by designers from various parts of the world. This multiculturalism of the design language is exactly what I wanted to express in Superloft at Superstudio.
A house that could be interpreted in a personal and different way by each visitor.
The quality of many products Made in Italy both at handcraft and industrial level has been the theme of this project.