We invite you through a new interview to Arch. Stefano Viganò, to discover Italian design and the creations of Matteograssi
Rawia Werda (RW) : For those that don’t know, could you tell us a bit about Matteograssi and your products?
Arch. Stefano Viganò (SV) : Matteograssi is a top reality fort high-level design, a product leader of Made in Italy in the production leather furniture. The company has been operating since more than 130 years in this field, its products can be found all over the world and in all kind of environments, because the transversality of the proposal Matteograssi includes solutions for residential space, office and for many environments for public use, such as airports, restaurants, museum spaces, conference rooms, theatres, lounges, and so on. The acquisition of the brand Pierantonio Bonacina, leading brand of top-level outdoor furniture, completed the proposal Matteograssi group.
(RW) : Can you introduce your team of designers?
(SV) : Matteograssi considers research and innovation fundamental factors of company’s progress, directing these aspects, however, within design proposals that are coherent with the company’s philosophy. For this reason a professional team works within the company in the design and in the engineering of the product: they work side by side with the many designers who experienced designing pieces for Matteograssi. Different professionals collaborated and are still collaborating, from the world most famous to the youngest, these last, even if the first steps in the world of design, bring ideas and freshness, with projects often containing living soul that is transposed and translated into Matteograssi collection. Matteograssi from this point of view contributed to the growth of the various figures of the design that are universally considered true icons.
(RW) : What are your sources of inspiration?
(SV) : Matteograssi operates in the high-level industrial design, the base of inspiration starts from the 20th Century’s great design currents till the latest trends and declinations of design. The thread running though all his collections, however, is the concept of elegance. The definition may seem abstract or generic, for us it is rather a precise philosophy, above the formal concepts of minimalism or contrary to decency or redundancy. An elegant product is a piece meeting all the expectations placed on it, such as functionality, aesthetics, quality of materials, durability and versatility when needed: nothing unnecessary should be added and nothing necessary should be subtracted.
(RW) : How long does it take to develop a new product?
(SV) : The product, from its conception by designers to its insertion in the production cycle, goes through two main stages: design and engineering. In this aspect Matteograssi differs from almost all other competitors, because the two phases are not split and addressed to different figures: they are developed by the same team. This way it is possible to keep the overview of the project and of its peculiar characteristics for the duration of its « gestation » and its development . The duration of this phase is very variable, it certainly depends on the type of product, on the technological complexity, breadth of the collection in terms of number of products of the family. Another important factor is the degree of innovation of the material or of the technology; Matteograssi took a few years to define and develop the kinds of processing in order to apply them to products of the collection, the design and engineering of a collection can, on average, switch from 3 to 6/9 months.
(RW) : What is the difference between the design style of Matteograssi & Pierantonio Bonacina Furniture?
(SV) : The stylistic differences between Matteograssi and Bonacina are inevitably generated by « source » and « destination », which are strongly bound. The « origin » is the material, bringing its intrinsic technology; the « destination » is the placement of products in substantially different environments, such as indoor and outdoor. Beyond these issues which, of course, have an impact on the aesthetics and the general concept of the product, we can say that the stylistic and cultural background of both brands has its roots, as mentioned before, in the functionalism and the movements and in the great masters of the twentieth century.
(RW) : Can you tell us about your refernces?
(SV) : Matteograssi distributed and distributes, as well as Bonacina, its products in the finest and most exclusive in the world homes, as well as in environments and a leading company in terms of image. Among the many jobs and contracts executed we can quote the seats or VIP areas of several airports including Dubai, Mumbai, Athens, Paris, Frankfurt, Bangalore, Beijing, or the Conference rooms in Maison de la Paix in Geneva, the Region Lombardia in Milan, the Maxxi in Rome, the Mairie de Montpellier. In addition to the above mentioned, among others supplies for spaces of representation such as Red Bull, UBS, Mitsubishi Melondia, Turkcell, Cariparma, Ministry of Finance in Rome, and so on. Matteograssi was also sponsor of the Venice Biennale and Expo Shangai.
(RW) : Finally what advice you can give to young designers?
(SV) : Matteograssi always considers and analyzes the proposals of the young designers, proceeding without delays to investigate the projects that are considered interesting. To create objects of true design is not easy, many designers, even well known ones, probably never created any. It is necessary to experience, approaching the job with passion, curiosity and dedication, to study the past and experience the present and the future, also think about what it might be impossible to make it achievable.