Archives for the month of: July, 2012

This is one meaningfull conversation I shared with a cloud of friends. Its starting point happened when I asked Jaime, one of my closest friends, his opinion of the contemporary man’s architectural project, the one we were doing for Andrea Branzi.

I cannot talk about Jaime without doing a brief intro of him (because I really admire him), Jaimito Avila was my classmate at school, he’s the smartest person I have ever know, he’s 25, and he teaches Spanish literature at La Sorbonne. I could write more about his tangible successes, but for me, the best way to describe him is by saying that he is an artist. Artists are the hardest human the most beautiful beings to find in the world. I can say they see the world with different eyes. It’s a way of living, according to me.

The first thing he metioned was the importance of understanding the difference between Silence and Mute. To explain this metaphor, he used the example of writing. Nothing is the white part of the page, the first letter of a word a sound. This means, if Nothing doesn’t exist, the sounds cannot exist. This is what the Spanish poet Jaime Siles, called La Nada Sonora.

That day, during my skype conversation I had with Jaime, was next to me a person who I also consider an artist, my cloud-friend Beba Urruela. While she listened to the conversation, I knew her head was working  in the same line as mine, but interpreting the Silence metaphor in her own way. She surprised me when she expressed this: As a musician, she thinks the silence can be more important than the lyrics themselves. At that moment, she was recording a song, called ‘on & off’.

So, considering the importance of the silence and projecting herself in a stage with a contemporary audience listening to this song, she expresses the beauty of the feeling of those seconds when there’s absolutely nothing, and just the audience waiting for the next sound.

Today, when I play the song, I’m actually anxious of listening to this dramatic effect at minute 2:09, when I can actually feel the Silence in the song, and remember what she felt when she did it. Isn’t this a beautiful communication?

Jaimito explained a more symbolic interpretation of the silence, a stronger interpretation, but all connected at the same time. In his poem ‘Musica de Agua’ Jaime Siles reaches a level of abstraction quite strong, that he realized he wasn’t communicating enough. His reader might understand his poem in a hundred years, but not now. Unstead of achieving Silence he remained mute.

Silence communicates while Mute doesn’t.

But, is Mute bad?

Not exactly. A lot of great artists achieved a connection with their audience, years after the art piece was made. We say they were ahead of their era; they are great because they overcame Time.

So, which one is better? Silence or Mute?

According to Anne-Sophie, it’s definitely Silence. She explains it as simple as this: Silence equals Now, and Now is more important than tomorrow. If you do the best NOW, you are choosing the best direction of the present, therefore the best entrance to the future.

For me, Silence is the highest and most beautiful level of simplicity. But in order to achieve this, you have to overcome the highest level of complexity. The hardest part is to know when to stop this complexity, so you can reach your audience in your own time.

“Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.”

Sigmund Freud

Pow studio

This year I attended my first Salone del Mobile. No wonder people say Milano is a transformable city. It really looks and feels completely different. And here  is just a little brief: Salone is a worlwide benchmark for furniture design, it made his first appearance in 1961 to promote Italian furniture. It hasn’t stoped since then.

The 2012 edition was attended by 292,370 trade operators, 188,579 of whom came from foreign Countries; 39,279 members of the general public and 6,484 communication operators.

Well, Salone has become so big that what they call Fuori Salone is even bigger than Salone itself. Fuorisalone is the term used to define the events group that during the Salone del Mobile week animate the entire city of Milan. I actually didn’t attend Salone, but I tried to go to every FuoriSalone district and events, such as Lambrate, Brera, Tortona, Porta Romana…

This year, interior design students from NABA had the opportunity to exhibit their projects at FABBRICA DEL VAPORE. The curator of the exhibition was Alessandro Mendini.,

We presented one of the items we worked in our product design course with Denis Santachiara. The assignment was to create items for a personal factory, integrating the customer’s design with the maker’s design, as Santachiara did when he created his profilo continuo pouf.

“Il valore del design come personalizzazione totale” he says. This and to use CNC printing technology was our design task.

We decided to use the fingerprint of the customer to create a new line of products.

photo andrea monedero

photo anne-sophie gauvin

photo andrea monedero

“While many economists, which may not be so involved in the real life, are still idealizing the big dimension, The practical people in the real world are ready to fight for a bit more of humanity, convenience, and for an easy management in the small dimension. This is a quite simple aim that everyone could reach alone”.

Ernst Friedrich Schumacher, “Small is beautiful” 1973

Photo Andrea Monedero

Photo Andrea Monedero

In April 2012, during Salone del Mobile, I participated in a workshop at MAGA (Museo de Arte contemporaneo Gallarate). In the open space of the museum, we were asked to build an architectural living scale 1:1.  The architects in charge were Daggur Eggertsson, Massimiliano Spadoni, Sami Rintala and Paolo Mestriner, an amazing team of energetic and inspiring architects who helped us during the 10 days of the building process. It was an amazing experience.

More abitare info here and europaconcorsi here.

Innovate as a last resort. More horrors are done in the name of innovation than any other.

Charles Eames

Legendary furniture designer, deft university -explainer, celebrated champion of design as a forcé of culture, creative genius of uncommon sincerity, honesty conviction, affection, imagination and humor. 


Mark Twain