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Interview with Giuliano Ricciardi

Home > Designer Interviews > Giuliano Ricciardi

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Giuliano Ricciardi (GR) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Giuliano Ricciardi by clicking here.

Interview with Giuliano Ricciardi at Friday 31st of May 2019
Giuliano Ricciardi
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?
GR: After high school in accounting, I enrolled in the university of economics, realizing very quickly that what I was studying did not satisfy me. I began to think of my past as a child and then as a teenager in which all my interests were creative and my approach to them was experimental, made up of attempts that were often far from customary. I left the university of economics and started looking for a job that would gratify me in some way. I began to practice in the joinery workshop of "Gioacchino Salvago" and I realized that wood fascinated me and that working it, seeing it evolve from raw material to finished product, was a continuous surprise. During this experience I was noticed by Arch. Bernardo d’Ippolito, who invited me to join the team of his architectural firm, KinoWorkshop. It was there that I learned to draw and I approached Design, remaining fascinated to the point of undertaking university studies in Industrial Design at the Polytechnic of Bari.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
GR: d-Lab studio is a laboratory of ideas for interior and product design, specializing in the design of furnishings and accessories. It is a place where different professionals meet and compare for the development of the concept / product. My studio is a home where customers can touch and try products, furnishings and accessories designed by me. I think it's the only way to allow customers to have a direct experience with what I can offer with my professionalism

FS: What is "design" for you?
GR: Design is an emotional and artistic expression. It means having an open mind, farsighted. It means daring, going beyond all that is approved even when it seems excessive. It means believing in one's own ideas, always looking for a comparison. If the idea is brought to maturity while respecting aesthetics and function, there can be no right or wrong design.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
GR: I like to design furniture, especially tables, sideboards, and bookshelfs but I also like to experiment with other areas such as lighting and products

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
GR: Chiglia Table is the design of which I am most proud, but I secretly love Goccia. Really, all my designs are part of me and, as a "father", I can only appreciate my creatures / creations. Chiglia is a tribute to the marine activity of Taranto, the town in which i was born and currently lives. it is the representation of a wreck underwater. The inspiration of the project comes from the skeleton of boats, whence the name. Goccia is a buoy suspended in mid-air, a landmark as is the domestic hearth, an ideal place of gathering, of which it represents a contemporary vision . Even in this case, the theme is the sea; this is representative of connection with my city.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
GR: Mantis table is the first product that i've designed for a company, DeMura /SistemaLab srl. It is a zoomorphic object that arise as trace of the past. it remember a fossil that, by its nature, freeze a track through time, balancing the vulnerability and resistance inseparably.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
GR: I like to work with wood, but I really like experimenting with other materials too

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
GR: Certainly when I'm outdoors, especially when I'm traveling. Different places and culture offer me different images and ideas.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
GR: Clean and essential lines, simplicity, functionality.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
GR: Enthusiasm, joy, lightness, peaceful. A mix of emotions that grow like a tingling that rises up the back and reaches the nape of the neck

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
GR: Pathos, satisfaction, produness.

FS: What makes a design successful?
GR: A design is successful when creativity and functionality are in harmony each other, when the project goes beyond the simple graphic gesture, when the style exceeds the duration of the trend

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
GR: The balance between shape and function, the careful choice of materials.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
GR: From an ecological / environmental point of view, the conscious use of materials, considering that some are limited in nature and that others require intrusive production processes. From an ethical point of view, the simplicity of interaction between object and user.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
GR: Experience and study teach us that everything is cyclical. Design follows the trend and it's helped by the constant development of new technologies. The trends are overcome by others, they change thanks to the technological development of materials and production processes, they adapt to our needs (natural or induced) and reappear in the form of design.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
GR: My last exhibition was in Milan during MDW 2016. Next exhibition will be at Ex Chiesa di San Francesco, Como, Italy for A'Design Award from 10th June to 31th july 2019. I hope in another exhibition before the end of 2019 out of italy

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
GR: Basically, I am an emotional, romantic and creative person, which leads me to say that my design is often the result of personal experiences that I want to externalize in some way. The outer world is the greatest source of inspiration. Traveling leads me to observe, learn by direct experience, try what I do not know. In fact, every time I return from a trip, I bring with me a wealth of knowledge, emotions and memories that I transform first into a design and then into a project. The sources of inspiration are therefore of various kinds; the wreckage of a boat as in the case of the Tavolo Chiglia, the desire for a fixed point to which to hold as for Goccia or the need to enclose my thoughts safely in a shell as for Arca.

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?
GR: I took my first steps in the design field working in carpentry and I believe that the direct relationship with wood and the manual workmanship have somehow forged my modus operandi. Mine is a rational Italian style, a style in which objects tell or represent something while maintaining a clean, sometimes minimal line. I work a lot on the project, starting with an idea full of details that I slowly subtract, highlighting what interests me and giving lightness to the final product. Sometimes it's a style that inspires me, like vintage for the Berlin furniture series, in other cases it's the instinct to command and the style draws inspiration from the challenge with myself to realize something empirical, abstract, maybe never seen before, Goccia for example

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?
GR: I live in Taranto, in the south of Italy. Italy is historically known as the cradle of the Mediterranean. The south above all has been influenced by different cultures, so yes, my design is partly influenced by the cultural heritage of my country. On the other hand, in Italy, despite having a certain reputation in the field of design thanks to the great architects and designers who made history, from Mollino to Albini, from Magistretti to Castiglioni etc, design, the real one, often has a market of niche

FS: How do you work with companies?
GR: I study products and company know-how, I listen to their requests, I analyze the information collected and elaborate some project drafts. I choose the proposals that I consider most valid and submit them to the client company. If they show interest in my concepts, I proceed to the definition of the details and the development of the concepts, then I follow the realization of the prototypes. It's important to be present at all stages of the production process, I always learn new things.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
GR: The first step is to evaluate the skills and the portfolio of designer, trying to understand if his vision and his abilities are in line with the company, but a test is necessary. A good method could be to submit to him an idea to develop and verify his abilities.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
GR: I do my own research, analyze the products on the market, define what I want to improve, elaborate the concept and proceed with prototyping.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
GR: My Brionvega TS502 (1966). an old Kartell coffee table, my reading lamp, the armchair that I restored and on which I am sitting right now and a Retinette Camera

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
GR: I wake up very early in the morning, have breakfast and go out for a walk. Sometimes I go to the beach, others to the old town, but I always carry my digital camera and a notebook with me. I go to my studio and start working. I always try to take a little break between one engagement and another, it is useful to distract the mind. i've my mediterranian lunch and, after a excellent espresso, I start working again. Sometimes I get time for photography, other times I go out and meet my friends.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
GR: Fly with your imagination. Remember that the abilities of each of us are endless. Follow your dreams by making choices that challenge you. Life is one and it is yours, be creative and be amazed

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
GR: Being a designer is exciting and never boring. The thought that an object designed by me will furnish a home or that someone will use it or wear it, gives me great satisfaction. It is not easy at all, you must never give up, patience and perseverance are necessary, but, if you have talent, the rewards come sooner or later

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
GR: Creativity, lightness and harmony

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
GR: Empathy, perception, creativity, decision and execution, but the key is the practice.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
GR: Notepad and pencil are essential for starting and then modeling and rendering software such as Rhinocheros, Cinema 4D, V-Ray, cad software especially Autocad, but also Archicad. Inevitable Adobe CS

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
GR: The time needed to develop a concept changes based on complexity. I usually plan the workflow based on deadlines. If I am not inspired, if the idea does not arrive or if development does not take off, I prefer to become estranged to clear my mind and wait for the "light bulb" to light up

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
GR: It depends on the type of object and the designer's creativity. I happened to spend whole days to design a simple container and take a few hours to develop more complex aesthetic projects as Chiglia Table.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
GR: How did you become a designer?

FS: What was your most important job experience?
GR: The Berlin Project, an important interior design project for a private client that required a lot of effort. The assignment involved the design and construction of all the furnishings for an apartment in Kreuzberg (Berlin). A part of the furnitures has been custom designed, another part has given rise to a new series of furniture, the Berlin series

FS: Who are some of your clients?
GR: Business clients as De Mura (Sistema Lab brand), Selip spa, but more often private customers that looking for exclusive furnishing for their home.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
GR: I started my career in a carpentry workshop and I like to design furniture and furnishing accessories. Wood has a special charm and working it is always exciting

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
GR: Expanding my career, I would like to continue with self-production, but i like the idea to collaborate with a big firm. Win more Awards, because it's a way to have più visibility. Learning all what is new, it's important to increase one's skills.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
GR: Sometimes alone other times as a team. It depends on the complexity of the project, but I'm sure it's important to deal with other colleagues, artisans, etc

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
GR: I am involved in the development of some concepts for a company that works with fiberglass and I am developing a new series of furnishings

FS: How can people contact you?
GR: Email: giuliano.ricciardi@dlabstudio.it - Mobile: +39 3470706181 - Website: www.dlabstudio.it

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
GR: The interview was exhaustive, thank you


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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