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Interview with Michele Blasilli

Home > Designer Interviews > Michele Blasilli

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

Interview with Michele Blasilli at Thursday 19th of April 2018

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?
MB: Michele Blasilli: I can say that looking back at my early years, I have been always a guy that was captivated from the practical aspect of things, I have been always interested in those people who invented great solutions to big problems with an easy, yet smart project. I don't think that I always wanted to be a designer, I think of myself as a modern inventor, not a Leonardo da Vinci kind of, of course, but a modest problem solver, a product creator... utile products for a better and stylish daily life. Fernando Canales Pedreros: Since I was a kid, quite young, I've been very attached to art and design, even without knowing it. I loved making my own toys... I love getting my hands dirty in constructing things. I'm still the generation that used and enjoyed playing in nature, which for me is vital in our lifes - that contact. From quite young enough I new I was going to study and be related to arts and deisgn for the rest of my life. Now, with some design-maturity I've finally found my path, which is; designing useful massive products.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
MB: Well... we are starting it and we have good hopes that this first project as a studio will catapult us, in the best way possible, to the design market as daily-problems-solvers.

FS: What is "design" for you?
MB: Design for us is a complex-simplicity. It's the conjuction of: functionality, correct-usability and aesthetic, it's a life philosophy voted to the creation of smart goods, universal, helpful and last but not the least; mind-blowing products.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
MB: We love designing whatever comes ahead of us, without a problem. But we think, nowadays and following our starting design studio concept; products that solve daily problems... some of which people might not even be aware of.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
MB: Michele Blasilli: Well this is a very difficult question to answer, because of course I am astonished from the brilliant old italian design school, like: Castiglioni, Munari, Colombo, Pesce, Magistretti and many others, because I do believe we need to know the history and the past to better interpret our future. So studying the old masters we really need to understand and master our era in terms of technology and innovation, doing the same things they did at that time with a more tecnological and efficent approach. So if we talk about modern Design, I can tell you honestly, for example, I love products such as Dyson, Braun, Philips or Bose... where technology and innovation is used to improve our experience and our life, with products that have a simple outcome and usage but with a more complex and sofisticated mechanism hidden from the users. Fernando Canales Pedreros: I don't have one favorite design or designers. I learn and take inspiration from many of them of course. I'm more into contemporary design, although I respect design-history of course, impossible not to, but I prefer looking into the future than into the past. As much as I'm now into functional-designed-objetcs, I have always loved the great combo of art + design. A good example I think, is Ron Arad.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
MB: Fernando Canales Pedreros: The first thing I designed for a company was cardboard furniture.Michele Blasilli: A open furniture, a bathroom wall cabinet to put towels, soap and other goods.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
MB: Michele Blasilli: As Product and Industrial Designer I always try to be upgraded on materials and technology, so you can't ask me what is my favorite material or technology, because every need has to be solved with the best material and adequate technology for that specific purpose.Fernando Canales Pedreros: As Michele said, I think, the correct material and technology has to be chosen depending on the project. And to be honest, I'm sure there are plenty of materials and technologies I still haven't got my hands on. But I have to say, a material that I respect a lot and I think it's underrated, is carboard.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
MB: Fernando Canales Pedreros: Whenever I'm trying not be creative.Michele Blasilli: When I feel good!!

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
MB: Michele Blasilli: Shape and usage.Fernando Canales Pedreros: Functionality being beautifully shaped.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
MB: Michele Blasilli: I feel completely enthusiastic and satisfied if my design reaches the goals of usefulness and aesthetics that I wanted for the project. But most of all, I feel full of joy when I see how a project like m0mi can be able to reach millions of people at a low price, helping them to have a better life.Fernando Canales Pedreros: I feel that I'm in one of the few places I really can express myself without any type of regrets, eventhough... maybe, the project doesn't have the reception that one expects. But well, taking aside the functionality, lets face it; design is completely subjective.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
MB: Fernando Canales Pedreros: I feel complete. The biggest emotions come to me when I finally take pictures of them... I love the process of registering something and being able to show it to others.Michele Blasilli: Completely proud and grateful

FS: What makes a design successful?
MB: Fernando Canales Pedreros: Although design has a very broad spectrum to qualify something as succesfull or not, as I see it... I think, as a designer, a design becomes succesfull when it solves in the best way possible, a problem and it's well received by the public.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
MB: Michele Blasilli: If you feel comfortable using that design created for a specific purpose and of course if the aesthetic is not penalized.Fernando Canales Pedreros: Innovation and the way the designer shows it (aesthetics).

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
MB: Fernando Canales Pedreros: Well, quite big... We cannot design things that will be harmfull for society and the environment. We have to find the best balance among every aspect of design.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
MB: Michele Blasilli: I really do believe that design will be more and more technology-based, like automotive design that changed from a more mechanical and practical organization, to a more innovative, technology and electronic system of usability and performances.Fernando Canales Pedreros: I think it's quite devided. I think the same way as Michele, regarding to technology per say. I think it's evolving quite fast, although I'm not that optimistic in terms of "product design", because basically we are living in the most consumerist era of all times and designers are filling this planet with things we don't need by just changing some forms.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
MB: Fernando Canales Pedreros: My last exhibition was in the gallery of my university (PUCP) in Lima, Peru (my country) - 2016. Hope my next exhibition is as a studio, as soon as possible, with a mind-blowing design.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
MB: Michele Blasilli: As I said before my dogma is: complex simplicity, where the final outcome results in a simple and elegant design based on innovative materials and technologies.Fernando Canales Pedreros: A question with to many answers, but to make it short... whenever I see a problem, I love thinking of the solution. The sources of inspirations come from absolutely everything and nothing at the same time... too ambiguous.

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?
MB: Fernando Canales Pedreros: I think I have quite a contemporary style, with some hints of retro... I love that mix. One of my role models in this, is: Marc Newson. I love minimalism and feel a quite colorful person. My approach to design is in trying to make it timeless.

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?
MB: Fernando Canales Pedreros: I'm from Lima, Peru but I live in Geneva, Switzerland at the moment. I don't think my country affects my design approach (except maybe for the colorfulness), although, every now and then, I try to put some form features of my culture in some products, but in a very subtle and contemporary way.

FS: How do you work with companies?
MB: Fernando Canales Pedreros: Excellent.Michele Blasilli: In a very collaborative way

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
MB: Fernando Canales Pedreros: I think the best way of selecting a designer, is giving him/her the chance to have a personal-complete-interview. I don't believe in just sending away protfolios and a nice motivational letter.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
MB: Fernando Canales Pedreros: I see a problem, I start thinking and re-thinking in possible solutions. I start sketching drawings that just I can understand. Then when I reach an idea that I believe in, I start using 3D programs like Rhino, so I can start arranging proportions and dimensions... and then of course, comes all the 3D modifications. Mockups and models are a must in the process...

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
MB: Michele Blasilli: Of course some technological ones, such as a bluetooth speaker or my earbuds, but at the same time; kitchen and bathroom accesories, that make my day better.Fernando Canales Pedreros: My amazing lap top, with which I do absolutely everything. A very well designed jump rope I just bought, any bluetooth device, like my speaker, earbuds, etc.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
MB: Fernando Canales Pedreros: At the moment, I'm working as a freelancer. I accept almost any type of project that comes along. I love exercising and I do it in the morning and in the afternoon, according to my time. I love walking and hanging out with my friends, but my solo moments are precious.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
MB: Michele Blasilli: Be always curious and hungry for knowledge, ambitious confident but at the same time humble with a great respet for people and most of all, for our planet.Fernando Canales Pedreros: I'm still a young designer.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
MB: Fernando Canales Pedreros: Well... I love the subjectivity of design, but at the same time, I hate it because it's impossible to please everyone.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
MB: Michele Blasilli: Pay a great attention to details.Fernando Canales Pedreros: (This is more of a general life-rule)... Don't sell yourself and always stay true to your ideals.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
MB: Fernando Canales Pedreros: Just one: Innovation ...but having the right skills to make it possible.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
MB: Fernando Canales Pedreros: Images... sketching, 3D programs such as Rhino or SolidWorks. Rendering tools like KeyShot... Graphic or post-production programs such as Photoshop or Illustrator... even Corel ...and of course, cardboard for mockup making.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
MB: Fernando Canales Pedreros: Very well. It's just a matter of prioritizing.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
MB: Michele Blasilli: Sometimes you have the right intuition in a blink of an eye but sometimes you need to try your idea, test it and make it work out. So there is not one exact time lapse to design something aswell as there is not always one simple solution for a specific need.Fernando Canales Pedreros: Very ambiguous question... from a couple of days, until years.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
MB: Fernando Canales Pedreros: Where does your inspiration come from? What do you smoke to come up with those ideas?

FS: What was your most important job experience?
MB: Michele Blasilli: I could say my most important experience was with the Milan based designer: Valerio Sommella.Fernando Canales Pedreros: With no doubt, until now, even though I have had many other gratifying experiences, one of my biggest achievments was: Designing two entire bedrooms from scratch and being in charge of absolutely everything, not just design.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
MB: Fernando Canales Pedreros: I have many personal clients as a freelancer. From the times I've worked in studios, I've worked for clientes from: Peru, Italy, France, Netherlands, Japan, etc.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
MB: Michele Blasilli: This kind of design and even more like large electronics consumer products.Fernando Canales Pedreros: Absolutely any type of design-project.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
MB: Fernando Canales Pedreros: Finding a steady job here in Europe.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
MB: Michele Blasilli: I work and develop my designs as a team member, but i did and i can work by myself too.Fernando Canales Pedreros: I have worked both ways with good resolutions.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
MB: Fernando Canales Pedreros: Well... m0mi.

FS: How can people contact you?
MB: Michele Blasilli: By using my working e-mail.Fernando Canales Pedreros: You have all my info in my web.

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
MB: Fernando Canales Pedreros: I can't think of something that hasn't been covered yet.


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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