Piero Lis­soni

Piero Lis­soni, a lead­ing Ital­ian ar­chi­tect and de­signer, is ad­mired for his min­i­mal­ist style. “Our ad­ven­ture be­gan, as for all young ar­chi­tects, with a glass of milk with cook­ies and so many sleep­less nights,” he tells

Prestige Indonesia - Lifestyle - - CONTENTS - handayani tanuwijaya

Piero Lis­soni is an Ital­ian ar­chi­tect and de­signer known for his min­i­mal­ist fur­ni­ture for many of the world’s most no­table de­sign com­pa­nies. Born in 1956, he grad­u­ated from Mi­lan Polytech­nic with a de­gree in Ar­chi­tec­ture in 1978. In 1986, he founded the ar­chi­tec­ture and in­te­rior de­sign firm Stu­dio Lis­soni with Ni­co­letta Canesi. Piero Lis­soni with Lis­soni As­so­ciati, Lis­soni Ar­chitet­tura, Lis­soni US and Graph.x con­tin­ues to de­sign to­day for a wide range of clients. He is Art Di­rec­tor for Alpi, Boffi, De Padova, Lema, Liv­ing Di­vani, Lualdi and Porro. Among his re­cent com­mis­sions is The Oberoi Al Zo­rah Beach Re­sortin Aj­man, UAE. This is a lux­ury prop­erty with water­front liv­ing that in­cludes a ho­tel, pri­vate vil­las, res­tau­rants, a spa, swim­ming pools and a pri­vate beach.

Ex­cerpts from an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view for Pres­tige Life­style:

HOW DID YOU DIS­COVER YOUR TAL­ENT AND PAS­SION FOR DE­SIGN? Luck! I could never have known my ca­reer would have been so lucky when I started. Since I was a child, I had al­ways wanted to be­come an ar­chi­tect. You be­come one be­cause you de­sire it, be­cause build­ing and cre­at­ing is your pas­sion. Some chil­dren want to be­come pilots, oth­ers fire­fight­ers, oth­ers as­tro­nauts. I wanted in­stead to be an ar­chi­tect.

HOW AND WHY DID YOU DE­CIDE TO STUDY AR­CHI­TEC­TURE? I stud­ied ar­chi­tec­ture at the Po­litec­nico di Milano, be­fore the cre­ation of the new fac­ulty of de­sign, when ar­chi­tec­ture was taught through the changes of per­spec­tive, rang­ing from the scale of large build­ings to that of small spa­ces, up to study­ing what is put in­side them. And

there, the job of a de­signer be­gins. I don’t feel my­self to be a de­signer. I’m an ar­chi­tect who also man­ages de­sign.

HOW WOULD YOU DE­SCRIBE YOUR SIG­NA­TURE STYLE? Some have de­fined my style as min­i­mal. That’s fine, it could have been worse! Oth­ers have de­cided that I de­sign very sim­ple things. Oth­ers that my cre­ations are el­e­gant. I iden­tify my­self in all th­ese def­i­ni­tions. My sig­na­ture style is all three of th­ese things: min­i­mal, sim­ple, el­e­gant, with the abil­ity to al­ways be a bit sur­pris­ing.

“Do not for­get the past and the tra­di­tion, and al­ways be cu­ri­ous about what will hap­pen to­mor­row”

WHAT ARE THE BIG­GEST CHAL­LENGES YOU FACE? Be­ing able to face a new project ev­ery day, con­stantly ac­ti­vat­ing a new process. It’s not the ul­ti­mate ob­ject in it­self that I’m in­ter­ested in, but to fol­low step by step all the dif­fer­ent as­pects of it, from start to fin­ish: to in­ves­ti­gate shapes, di­men­sions, pro­por­tions, ma­te­ri­als, pro­duc­tion, en­gi­neer­ing. I’m in­ter­ested in the whole process and how it evolves, and I re­ally en­joy find­ing out what I’ll have to de­sign to­mor­row, what my next chal­lenge will be.

WHAT KEEPS YOU MO­TI­VATED? First of all, what to­mor­row will al­low me to re­dis­cover. The sec­ond is to live ev­ery project as a new start. It’s as if I were to raise the cross-bar a lit­tle bit higher each time. I never look back, I’m in­ter­ested in the fu­ture.

WOULD YOU TELL US ABOUT SOME OF YOUR PET PROJECTS? We’ve just com­pleted The Oberoi Al Zo­rah Re­sort in Aj­man, UAE, a lux­ury water­front prop­erty. We’ve also just in­au­gu­rated our first ar­chi­tec­ture and de­sign project in Ger­many, The Gekko Group’s lux­ury Ho­tel Roomers in Baden-baden.

YOU OPENED YOUR OWN STU­DIO IN 1986 ALONG WITH NI­CO­LETTA CANESI. HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT? Ev­ery­thing started on a kitchen ta­ble, with a ruler and tri­an­gles. In the past ar­chi­tects used to draw by hand with 45 de­grees and 30 de­grees tri­an­gles. Our ad­ven­ture be­gan as for all young ar­chi­tects, with a glass of milk with cook­ies and so many sleep­less nights!

YOU ARE ALSO ART DI­REC­TOR AT ITAL­IAN FUR­NI­TURE COM­PANY PORRO. HOW DID YOU GET IN­VOLVED WITH THE COM­PANY? I am Art Di­rec­tor for Porro and a few other com­pa­nies. As an ar­chi­tect in the late 1980s and early 90s, I started work­ing for this com­pany, founded in 1925 and in its third gen­er­a­tion, first mod­i­fy­ing small de­tails within their ex­ist­ing world and be­gin­ning to take care of graph­ics, stands, shops and col­lec­tions.


THE GEO­MET­RIC RO­MAN­TIC COL­LEC­TION FOR PORRO. COULD YOU EX­PLAIN THE CON­CEPT AND HOW YOU GOT THE IN­SPI­RA­TION? I have tried to put a lit­tle bit of sen­su­al­ity into an in­creas­ingly tech­no­log­i­cal world, with prod­ucts ex­press­ing su­pe­rior qual­ity and care. I liked

the idea of adding a touch of hu­man­ism. The choice this year was to in­ter­vene with soft parts in­side Stor­age, their closet sys­tem, to cre­ate truly re­fined con­tain­ers for clothes; play­ing with colours, ma­te­ri­als and dif­fer­ent woods mar­ried with strongly coloured fab­rics such as red and turquoise.

This year once again, the in­gre­di­ent of Porro’s home was ma­te­rial re­search. The new metal­lic fin­ishes, rich in nu­ances and tex­tures, are ca­pa­ble of cre­at­ing a sense of depth, re­call­ing the oil paint­ings of the 17th cen­tury. I in­serted dec­o­ra­tive points with great care, with­out ex­ag­ger­at­ing, show­ing the gen­tle face of the tech­no­log­i­cal look.

WHAT IN­TER­EST­ING PROJECTS DO YOU HAVE COM­ING UP? I’m de­sign­ing ho­tels, houses and fac­to­ries. I’m de­sign­ing fur­ni­ture for next year. I’m de­sign­ing the new gen­er­a­tion of yachts for San­lorenzo, one of the world lead­ing ship­yards for the pro­duc­tion of yachts over 24 me­tres in length. This was a real chal­lenge for me. I’ve been asked to de­sign the in­te­ri­ors of the new SX line, which will be pre­sented in Septem­ber at the Cannes Yacht­ing Fes­ti­val. I’ve tried to ex­press the time­less el­e­gance of San­lorenzo, com­bin­ing tech­nol­ogy and moder­nity, with the use of a sim­ple, hon­est lan­guage. Hence, the in­spi­ra­tion for the project when we started to dis­cuss ideas. I kept pic­tur­ing boats, even large ones, as if they were lofts, very open spa­ces, highly live­able, where above all it is pos­si­ble to be in con­tact with the sur­round­ing world. What is more nat­u­ral than wa­ter, sea and light?

WHAT DO YOU MOST HOPE TO ACHIEVE IN YOUR LIFE­TIME? I am very lucky. De­spite the work, I of­ten take some time for my­self and my pas­sions, like go­ing to the opera or ski­ing in the moun­tains. And on my work days, I al­ways find the time to buy flow­ers for my stu­dio and to walk my dogs. My dream? To have more grand­chil­dren…

BASED ON YOUR EX­PE­RI­ENCE, WHAT LESSONS COULD YOU SHARE WITH YOUNG DE­SIGN­ERS? I do not feel like I’m a mas­ter of any­thing and I have no lessons to teach. The only thing I would say to my youngest col­leagues is the ad­vice to stay very cu­ri­ous and to think that ev­ery day is a new day. At the same time, do not for­get the past and the tra­di­tion, and al­ways be cu­ri­ous about what will hap­pen to­mor­row. Be­ing cu­ri­ous is the se­cret of ev­ery­thing.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE BUILD­ING? There are too many build­ings I love. I re­ally can­not choose one. There are so many build­ings that in­trigue me, even just for a small de­tail or a sen­sa­tion, that I could not choose a favourite one.


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