Despoke managed to grab 5 minutes with the Italian design influencer and Interni editor, Gilda Bojardi, during LDF and the successful Interni Aperitivo talks.
The Interni website is beautiful as well as easy to navigate. Do you think the design world works better online than in print and if so why?
INTERNI was born 60 years ago as one of the first magazines of architecture and interior design. Over the years it has evolved and updated, living up to its ethos: to inform its readers of everything going on in the world of design. Obviously the website, since the magazine is a monthly publication, is the fast version. An interface that collects content day by day from the world of design and architecture. I think they are both important and complement each other: INTERNI is in fact ‘a system’ that comprises many forms of communication, that need the magazine as much as its online presence. I believe that it is up to our readers to choose which medium they want to read, depending on the need for topical or more detailed information.
Photo by Alessandro Paderni/Eye Studio- Patricia Urquiola’s home studio
You have been at the helm of Interni for over 20 years. How has the general public’s attitude to design changed across those decades especially given the rise in online funding campaigns and the resurgence in craft? Does everyone now think they know what good design is and that they can be a designer?
Certainly being able to get online has helped spread a design culture that today is becoming more widely followed. The return of craftsmanship in this industry is certainly a value, even if Italian design, especially furniture design, has always had an artisanal aspect, in the creation, finishes, choice of materials and quality of workmanship. This was always the added value of the ‘Made in Italy’ stamp. Nevertheless, I do not think that the concept of good design is so widespread. Personally, I do not think that just anyone can become a designer: it takes talent, a good education, and a lot of energy in defending their ideas. It’s not for everyone.
Last year you said that Italy’s design output wasn’t in decline and that ‘Milan is still the capital of design’ (dezeen 19/9/2014). Given that Milan is also considered the capital of fashion, what is it about this city that makes it such a force for creativity? Has it always been this way?
Furniture design was born in Milan in the immediate post-war period. In those years, some companies were beginning to work with the architects who convinced them to abandon the traditional style of furniture production in favour of contemporary furniture and mass production
Then, Salone del Mobile and FuoriSalone together became a catalyst force for the international creative energies, transforming central Milan into the international capital of both project and design. It has certainly been FuoriSalone who has sanctioned the ‘Milan model’: a format that has grown over the years that INTERNI created and nurtured, making Milan Design Week a unique experience. As for fashion, Milan became one of the international capitals of fashion in the sixties and seventies with the emergence of the ready-to-wear and the arrival in town of designers such as Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace, Gianfranco Ferré and Krizia. They invented the Milan fashion that is still appreciated around the world.
These two industries, that sometimes intersect, make the city a unique hotbed of creative proposals and ideas. Today, this focus has further expanded and established itself thanks to the Expo’ – Universal Exhibition in Milan (May 1 to October 31 2015). This extraordinary event, of which INTERNI is also a partner, which has already attracted over 15 million visitors, a tremendous opportunity to spread the culture of Milan around the world.
Ron Arad, Big easy Chair, Moroso
London is also considered a creative capital, the world leader some might say. What does London do right and what does it do wrong for designers and creatives?
London has certainly had and continues to have excellent creatives, and many factors contributes to maintain it like that, in particular the ‘ education factor ‘, stemming from the number and quality of schools in the city, and from an attitude to self-production typical of young professionals just out of school.
The ‘Brit Style’ is a phenomenon now known internationally. However, London doesn’t have the same level of manufacturers and industrial makers in design, and it is not able to provide the same industrial milieu that is present in Milan, and Italy. A great majority of British designers have become acclaimed designers, only after having been supported and launched by Italian companies who understood and appreciate British creativity: from Ron Arad, Ross Lovegrove, Jasper Morrison, to Tom Dixon and Michael Young, and many others. Now even the great architects like Zaha Hadid or David Chipperfield – and I quote just a few names – realise and produce their ideas in collaboration with Italian companies. Designer furniture is, above all, made in Italy.
If you could have had any other career- what would you have done? Why?
I am very glad to have chosen my career because my education was of an entirely different nature- I am a lawyer! But I have ‘betrayed’ my education when I was still a university student, therefore I can say I chose this career really early on. If I were to do something else, I would say that I like decorating my houses, and giving advice to my friends. So I’m probably a failed architect!