ODO FIORAVANTI ― TRANSCRIPT
What I like the most about the design discipline is that you can put meaning in the objects you’re making that have no need to be explained. They are self explaining, self-evident, I will say.
The second kind of thing I try to put in my objects is a sort of simplicity and honesty. I think bringing back to honesty, what design is, for us as a designer is mandatory. So we have to make things that can be the best companions of your life. And this to me is really important, and is a sort of mission for designers.
I’m Odo Fioravanti, and I’m an industrial designer based in Milan.
The ancient Greek used to say that beauty and justice were connected, like in the same word. So they used to link towards the Kalos (beautiful) and Agathos (what is right) in the same word - it was Kalokagathia.
This word was created to signify the idea that beautiful things are right, and right things are beautiful.
The idea that in ancient Rome, for example, they were using these beautiful buildings that were for everybody, trying to say that beauty made huge and visible to all the people, could make people - put people on the same level.
So this was democratic and this was actually right because it was beauty for everybody. That's why, to me, design should be right and we should try to create things that are both right and beautiful.
But beauty is not about the taste. The taste can be subjective - to me beauty is something that is eternal and unchanging.
I think that beauty, when you want to make it evident or visible for a large part of the population, the only way is to find a delicate way to work with shapes. Trying to mix for example rational and curved lines in a delicate way, to me, has got a strong message for people because as designers we create artificial things, things that are not from nature.
So what is the way to connect these artificial things to the body of people that is made of curved shapes and natural shapes? To create objects that can be a medium between rationality and nature.
My idea for the project, the starting point was just called "one" because it was a single shape. So it was like a teapot plus the cup that was working as a sort of hat for the teapot itself, creating a unique shape.
It was a really delicate approach with the idea of taking care of people. There is something that is also in this gesture because when you have a hot mug in your hands or teapot, this gesture transmits the heat through your hands. It’s really human to me.
Since I work a lot with the hands, when I make models I try to understand which is the right shape for an object, sometimes my object have a seal on them, somehow, the gesture that created them. For example, this sugar box - sugar container - we needed to have the spoon on the side and we moved the border on the outside so you can still see the gesture that created the object, but also the teapot itself is keeping in it both this gesture.
If we think about China or Japan where tea's are sort of a liturgy, this becomes clear when you use a teapot because it is about hands, it is about gestures, where I put things, position. So every desk or every table can become a sort of altar.
Right now somebody somewhere is using it and maybe feeling something with all these thoughts I put in the object.
And from my point of view, what I try to do, what I think design should be, is making things, trying to put in them some beauty, some intelligence, some honesty, some delicate thought, some feeling. And this way to create a sort of gift that is released in the everyday life is the secret and the only magic of design.