Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Emanuele Pangrazi (EP) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Emanuele Pangrazi by clicking here.
Interview with Emanuele Pangrazi at Friday 12th of April 2013
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
EP: I think that the path to becoming a designer was brought about by a natural progression. As a child I would build things and break others, I saw toys as just objects to take apart! Later on I developed a wide range of interests, from technical-scientific to artistic, though I didn’t really understand yet what I was most drawn to. For some time I would oscillate from one inclination to the other, trying to identify myself with one of them, when in reality both were part of me. It was only later when I discovered Industrial Design while studying at university that everything fell into place. With Industrial Design I could finally deepen my knowledge of apparently contradictory perspectives and regard them as part of the same process. This created a balance that greatly influences my life. So I continue along this path, always trying to perfect my skills, creating ‘things’ in a job which is always varied. I’d like to cite an insight of maestro Sottsass: ‘I do many different jobs, I work on grand architectural projects, make small objects, I take pictures, I sketch.....otherwise my soul would get bored and leave.’
FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
EP: I named my studio Mater, in Latin, because I wanted to convey the idea of creation as a generative and primordial action. My design studio offers services in a number of fields, from product design to visual communication, undertaken by high-profile professionals who work together. Our work method is organized using the model One-Stop-Shop which enables our clients to benefit from all our services using one representative who oversees each stage of a project, which in turn greatly simplifies the whole process. My work mostly revolves around product design and artistic direction. I collaborate with a graphic designer, an architect and an expert in 3D visualization.
FS: What is "design" for you?
EP: A vocation where my cultural background and my world vision come together. I also think it is an intellectual and experimental discipline that permeates many aspects of daily life, even those that do not have anything to do with the actual profession. Design has a role in my life where uncertainty brings results and influences my ideas about the world...
FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
EP: I like designing objects where the form is very important both from an expressive point of view and the function it serves. I find that morphological research, in it’s plastic sense, is the most interesting part of design composition. To do this it is not important to focus on what it being designed, but instead to focus on the materials and production technique used.
FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
EP: The first thing I designed was a video projector that had some special technical innovations. I remember that it was very interesting cooperating with the engineers who developed the electronics as well as to work through constraints of various kinds. It was my first industrial design project and I had to make up for the lack of experience by working day and night. I remember that I also oversaw the industrialization of the product and prepared the project for the moulds of the plastic packaging. It was great preparation!
FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
EP: In the past I found it very interesting to work with plastic materials because of the technical and expressive opportunities they offered. More recently I prefer using living materials, those that breathe such as wood and those that can be molded freely such as ceramics. I would like to challenge myself more by using steel and develop something interesting with it, particularly because I feel like I have a sort of ancestral bond with it due to the fact that I grew up in the shadow of the first steelworks founded in Italy.
FS: When do you feel the most creative?
EP: When I cook, especially when making a huge mess in the process.
FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
EP: It depends on the kind of project it is and the amount of freedom I’ve been given. During the first phase, I usually concentrate on what the project needs to express within a given context. So I analyze the class of objects the product I’m working on belongs to, and I develop an idea or a concept that goes beyond the form. In the next phase I experiment by drawing solutions that could best transmit the concept and also meet the criteria of functionality and manufacturability.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
EP: While designing I feel free, without restrictions, it is always an intimately constructive and uplifting experience.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
EP: When I see my designs realized I feel like a kid who has just received a toy he always dreamed of. Unfortunately this almost always happens in the presence of my clients, so I have to restrain my emotions in order to preserve professional décor. But the feeling is fantastic…
FS: What makes a design successful?
EP: That is a good question. I think that an indefinable mix of characteristics makes an object desirable…
FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
EP: I’ve recently displayed various bathroom collections, among those Catino, the project that won the Platinum A’ design Award in Frankfurt on the occasion of the ISH and in Bologna for Cersaie. An upcoming exhibition of my work on bathrooms will be held in April at the Chinese 113th Canton fair and in Shanghai at the end of May. There will be new designs coming up at Cersaie.
FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
EP: I have many but there are three items I could not live without. A ‘kitsch’ lamp that looks like a petrol pump from the beginning of the 20th century, ex tinsel in the window of a shop that I charmed for more than a year and in the end they gave it to me out of desperation. My ‘Bad boy’ bicycle that I had shipped out from London and finally, a ’Birdcage’ hanging lamp by Mineheart that I do not value for it’s functionality but for it’s artistic worth. This metaphysical work should, in my opinion, be displayed in a modern art museum.
FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
EP: I don’t know how wise my advice can be as I feel like I need to have a lot more experience. I can say that some designers should stop thinking that design is just what you see on a magazine cover, so as not to become victims of design consumerism. In one of his interviews Enzo Mari complains about this particular loss of general culture that should in fact guide a project. Indeed, he calls most designers of today ‘dwarfs, dancers and ignoramuses’. In my opinion, I think what he says is only partly true, I do however advise those who want to embark on this fantastic career to not do things just to get a name but to find their own path through intellectual growth. Success will come and if it doesn’t, a designer with intellectual depth will automatically be successful anyway!
FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
EP: For the operational development of the concept I normally draw by hand with a black, fine-tip pen and a set of Pantone. Sometimes I develop something directly on the computer with a very effective surface modeler. I then use different systems to make some of the images photo-realistic depending on the type of project it is and the time I have at my disposal. It is very important to have many sources of inspiration such as art, cinema and reading. However one must not simply use these sources as a tool but enjoy them as if at a fine dinner so as to allow inspiration to flow.
FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
EP: It depends on what kind of object it is, considering the projects I have worked on thus far, I would say that one or two months are more than sufficient.
FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
EP: Most of the times it’s: Where do you find your inspiration? I never answer that question; I wouldn’t know where to start.
FS: What was your most important job experience?
EP: At the moment I am designing various products for a large Chinese company. I don’t know if it will be my most important job experience but it is definitely the most interesting challenge I have had to face up to now.
FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
EP: I develop the concept by myself, for the following stages I operate with my team of collaborators.
FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
EP: I do not usually talk about any of my works-in-progress.
FS: How can people contact you?
EP: It ‘s very simple, contact me by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or type Emanuele Pangrazi on facebook and linkedin.
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