The theatre where we live
“Design,” says GIANCARLO BOSIO, Creative Director of Giorgetti, “is the expression of society. Sometimes it influences it and prepares its future.” Interview by Liviani Putri
Based in the northern Italian province of Monza and Brianza in Lombardy, Giorgetti S.P.A. is a furniture company established more than 120 years ago that aims “to scale the heights of good home living”. Under Giancarlo Bosio, Creative Director, Giorgetti has assembled a “dream team” of designers to create “new made-in-Italy pieces that offer an increasingly fluid and all-encompassing way to enjoy the home”.
Bosio’s team includes Roberto and Ludovica Palomba, Carlo Colombo, Roberto Lazzeroni, Umberto Asnago, Massimo Scolari, Chi Wing Lo and Paolo Suman. Together, they present a vision of the home that is increasingly shaped by creative influences.
Available here in Jakarta at Prodotti, Giorgetti’s sober, elegant furniture brings rooms to life with a recognisable personality for each collection. Wood, leather, marble, metal and fabric details articulate the compositional rhythms of space in refined chromatic harmony. Neutral tones are the undisputed protagonists, lending themselves to interplays with the timeless elegance of black-and-white contrasts, or with refined brown and light blue accents. Colours and materials are an integral part of each Giorgetti project.
Bosio hails from the province of Alessandria in the region of Piedmont, located about 100 km southeast of Turin. He graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at Genoa University and has been working in the product design field since the earliest steps of his career. Bosio has been shaping the creative direction of Giorgetti since 2013. Highlights of an exclusive interview with Prestige:
What inspired you to become a designer?
I think that imagining places or spaces inhabited by objects is natural for some of us; something instinctive like for certain animals. I think about the gardener bird: It likes colourful objects. It works hard at building its house and decorating it. After building the house, it makes a garden around it. We designers have the ambition to improve the world.
Where does your inspiration come from?
The start of a project is often a rational response to a practical need. Then comes the object or subject, which at the end claims its own genius.
Is there a time period you look back to for inspiration?
I like to think that the periods that preceded us are part of us. The differences created by many cultures have inspired various solutions to similar needs. The past is part of us as an inheritance, not as a catalogue of images.
How do you think have ideas about luxury changed since you started out?
Luxury is the extreme part of trends and it follows the cyclic movement between minimalism and its opposite. Personally, what I consider to be true luxury is reaching the possibility of seeking the maximum beyond the stylistic characteristics.
Where do you think best? In your office, on planes, in the shower?
Many times, my office can be my car while I’m driving alone - or, conversely - a space while working with a small group of people. The place doesn’t matter. My office space is a bit like my home: full of plants and objects that I have collected. I have always been collecting objects. They are not precious in an absolute sense, but they have great value for me.
How would you describe your creative process?
I don’t think the creative process can be rationalised. What gets my creativity flowing is the feeling of building something that I would consider interesting even if I wasn’t the designer. My colleagues ... the group is fundamental as a tool to refine ideas, as sometimes projects can take a different path from the original idea.
How do you work with clients harmoniously and address their needs? Do you have to be a bit of a psychologist to keep clients happy?
It’s a sharing process, based on the knowledge of the logic and suggestions that motivated the reasons. Our team must be able find different and innovative solutions, without losing sight of our roots and always paying great attention to detail. For a professional, knowing how to read the client’s or a business partner’s needs and psychology is the second thing to learn after having approached the project.
How has the rise of the internet and social media affected you?
It is part of the daily evaluation of how much the world produces and, therefore, of the panorama in which we all move. Luxury brands need to be constantly competitive in a world where online and offline can no longer ignore one another. Our company is not in e-commerce, but I believe it can be an important vehicle for niche products that need a large place to find their target. Technology has been deeply changing people’s habits: tastes are influenced by social media, and everything is changing faster and faster.
How do you deal with the challenge of working with other cultures? Particularly for Asia...
I try to develop the work with intellectual honesty. Working with other cultures and people speaking different languages can be seen not only as a difficulty, but also as an opportunity to explore cultural differences, spot common needs, enrich ourselves and take inspiration from it.
Are there any designers you look up to?
There are many designers whose work I appreciate. One of them is Tokujin Yoshioka (acclaimed for his works dealing with light and nature, chosen as part of permanent collections in museums including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Le Centre National d’Art et de Culture Georges-Pompidou (Centre Pompidou) in Paris, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London), for the technical and poetic mix of his methods.
What is your favourite place in the world?
There are, of course, so many places. Rome’s GNAM (National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art) is one of them. It’s a harmonious space located in a special place in the city, where it’s pleasant to see things, but also to sit in a splendid early 20thcentury bistro decorated with great works. This makes it possible for everyone there to enjoy art, the beauty of nature and food.
What do you typically bring back from your travels?
There is no journey I take without bringing home objects that satisfy my pleasure in collecting them and feed the memories of the places where I found them.
How does it feel to be part of a company with such a long history?
For me, tradition and feeling part of a story is a source of pride and a solid foundation for building something new.
What do you think is the secret to great interior style?
I don’t like labels. A good project can mix suggestions and transmit different feelings to those who live in it. Before being functional, an environment is the theatre where we live. Design is the expression of society. Sometimes it influences it and prepares its future.