Designer Paolo Cappello, talks here about the creative process he goes through when designing his products, and also shares how he knows that a design is ready to hit the market.
How it all started...
When I was a child I preferred playing football rather than sit and reading science fiction books. Once I remember I was reading the story of King Arthur, when my father told me that maybe I should be doing something different, that if I took a piece of wood and I worked I could create me a magic wand like that of Merlin the Magician ... I remember that I have never ceased to build things with wood, building cars, chairs for the dolls of my sister. One day I found a book with the technical drawing of a Fiat 500 and I began to copy it ... I think it was then that I found my true path ... When, then, after high school it was time to choose what to do I had no doubt: the designer.
There is not a “creative aesthetic” that drives me while designing; I prefer talking about “creative process”. When I started studying design at Milan Polytechnic the parallelism between form and function has been the first concept I was taught, and this lesson drives me in all my projects. All objects have a specific function, and the shape must be the logic consequence of this function. Function is things’ essence, all other additions are superfluous. So when I design something I always try to understand as deeper as I can what this object will be used for and what I can do to make it work better. It may seem an overly “technical” process but this is not, in fact it allows creating things with sense, and good aesthetic comes from a mix of functionality and attention for details and materials.
When do you know that a design is done and ready to hit the market?
I'm a very harsh judge with myself. When I design I pass through many steps before arriving to a solution that completely satisfies me. When I look at a project and I see that it has the right and proper balance then I usually ask other people to judge it...if also others are satisfied with this project then it's time for the market.
I design everywhere, because inspiration can arrive when you less expect it. Some of my best products came to me at the end of days when I was sleepy, I think that during late evenings we are more able to imaginative and dream, we mix real experiences to imaginary ones and that can help us in a creative process...that’s why I have always a pen and a sheet near my bed! I'm curious all day long, I love to look at everything that surrounds me, inspiration is hidden in the most anonymous things: a leaf, a shadow, a word. I love looking at things with a different angle that always lets me be so passionate in my work. But of course, when I design something the main focal points are function and users.
On future plans...
I'm working in a new series of complements and chairs I'll showcase at Salone del Mobile 2011, I also just started a collaboration to design a totally environmental friendly kitchen and bathroom, and the last but not least I'm working with an Italian glass company.
...Yes, just an appeal to all people: love simplicity!
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