Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Jacopo Candotti (JC) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Jacopo Candotti by clicking here.
Interview with Jacopo Candotti at Thursday 21st of April 2016
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?
JC: We both have an artistic background and we both graduated from an Academy of Fine Arts. Moreover, we have also had different experiences in this field. About two years ago, we decided to start a project that would combine the sculptural disciplines with functional design. The aim was to create unique and original products.
FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
JC: The studio is located in Florence. It is the fruit of the collaboration between the sculptor Jacopo Candotti and the designer Nicole Valenti. Each object is monitored at every stage, from the early design phase to the finishing touches. NJ Interiors collaborates only with the best Italian artisans, so each piece is unique and carries within itself a story. Our creations are inspired by nature. A particular form, such as the beak of a tropical bird, the texture of a stone or the shape of a coral are transformed into door handles.
FS: What is "design" for you?
JC: "Design" for us is the union between aesthetics and functionality. It is the creation of an object that enhances people's life. It goes to solve practical problems and add the pleasure of being surrounded by something unique.
FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
JC: We like to design any object that can be used in interior spaces.
FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
JC: Our favorite design does not exist yet. We wouldn't have had to make one ourselves if it did.
FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
JC: The first item we designed was a door handle.
FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
JC: Our favourite materials are metal, wood, molds and castings.
FS: When do you feel the most creative?
JC: We express our creativity in the experimental application of forms to everyday objects.
FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
JC: We focus on the experimental aspects of shapes and finishes of everyday objects.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
JC: The excitement of designing something that does not exist yet in the world makes us feel authentic.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
JC: As claimed by certain conceptual artists, once it has been designed, the work is finished. In this case, we would add that being able to experience it in spaces adds value to the intentions.
FS: What makes a design successful?
JC: The freshness and originality of the form and finishes that we chose for our door handles
FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
JC: If the content goes well with the "container," it is a good design. The same applies to a work of art.
FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
JC: Designers should create something that improves the quality of life
FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
JC: We think that over the next 20 years, design will experience a "formal" development. We will witness to a return to decorative-aesthetic research, which will be accompanied by a research for new technologies, and eco-friendly materials. We also believe that design will be more and more present in our lives.
FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
JC: Our last exhibition was at the 7th Milan fuorisalone, in the Ventura Lambrate space. In the same days, we also exhibited in a contemporary art collective exhibition (in Milan) at Care/of in Via Farini. The latter focused on developing an artwork that can be enjoyed only by one person at a time. The next one? Who knows, maybe in a private home collection or in Paris at the Maison & Objet.
FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
JC: Our projects stem from the union of the world's magic and nature. A special form, such as the beak of a tropical bird, the texture of a stone or the shape of a coral are enough to develop our first models. Also travelling, knowing new places and cultures, especially non-Western ones, feed our creativity and vision.
FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
JC: We have a design approach that is rooted in the art world, in particular, in that of sculpture. Our style focuses on a new idea of decorativism, which is able to create original, unique and signature objects, as well as open a positive dialogue between architecture and furniture.
FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
JC: We live in the very Italian, historical and artistic city of Florence, but we were born and raised in Bolzano, a city close to the border between Italy and Austria where three cultures (Italian, German and Ladin) meet. Therefore, we grew up in a place where diversity plays a vital role. Our works combine many different aspects, therefore, we do not belong to a specific culture or idea, we absorb the best from all that is around us.
FS: How do you work with companies?
JC: Our company is very young. We will be able to answer this question only when we begin to collaborate with other companies.
FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
JC: A way to recognize a good designer is looking at his or her critical sense and general vision. At the root of an idea, there must be an enlightened and innovative vision, and not necessarily glamor or fashion.
FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
JC: The first insights are often born far from the studio, while traveling or walking down the streets of a city. Our senses then show us the way. If we see something that we find interesting, it may become a possible starting point for a new work.
FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
JC: The tavolo '95 (table '95) by Achille Castiglioni, a Moroccan Berber carpet, a small table in Nordic style (specify), a hand-turned wood chair and the NJ interiors' Prisma door handle
FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
JC: An early rise with a large breakfast. We sit down and plan the week ahead beginning with the priorities. We decide whether to focus more on pure research or advancing a new model. Some days, we go travelling somewhere to recharge the spirit and body, and others when the foundries become our second home.
FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
JC: Dreams do not come true without a fair amount of failures and hopes.
FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
JC: The mental freedom that allows you to imagine something that doesn't exist and the possibility of manufacturing it is definitely the most positive. As in all freelance work and above all in Italy, the downside is that, in the first years of activity, one must prepared to make many sacrifices.
FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
JC: Never stop dreaming.
FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
JC: Great technical skills combined with an enlightened vision of the world
FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
JC: We use tools of any kind because ours is a laboratory where experimentation is at the heart of everything. In our laboratory one can find everything, from gas tanks to heaps of printed paper rolls, wax, bronze, wood and obviously two computers.
FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
JC: You have to put yourself in the mindset that it's not a 9 to 5 job. There are weeks in which "Sunday falls on Tuesday" or those in which there is no Sunday at all. On the contrary, sometimes, you have plenty of time to travel and find new inspirations.
FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
JC: It depends on the object, it can take a week or many months.
FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
JC: That's beautiful! What is it?
FS: What was your most important job experience?
JC: Working in a foundry for a few months
FS: Who are some of your clients?
JC: Privates who purchase only one piece for their home, entrepreneurs for their hotels and restaurants, as well as architects and interior designers.
FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
JC: Everything about interior design, ranging from less successful projects to those seemingly perfect. We are interested in all of them.
FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
JC: To continue designing new beautiful objects but also to see our dreams, in other words our projects, come true.
FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
JC: We are a team of two people. Between the two of us, we have it all covered.
FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
JC: We prefer to keep that to ourselves until we reach what we consider a result.
FS: How can people contact you?
JC: Via email, telephone, website and social networks
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