Chris Fordham investigates:
For this topic, I was fortunate enough to be joined by the U.K. sales manager at Atrium for Flos, Paola di Arianello. Her background with various Italian companies as a designer and as an Italian herself, gives an interesting insight into a country where the design market is firmly embedded into the culture. It’s challenging to see how this compares to good old blighty, where we do appreciate good design, but where our approach is maybe just that little bit different…..
One of the stand-outs for me is the sense of pride in design that comes across – something that, perhaps, we could enjoy more of here in the U.K. That said, I did baulk ever so slightly at Paola quoting architect Luigi Caccia Dominioni in which he claimed “We (Italians) have more imagination, more culture, and are better mediators between the past and the future“. They certainly have a flair for design which they revel in, coupled with an affection for tradition and materials that we can all learn from.
Perhaps we are more pragmatic, perchance we are more time-poor, and the value inherent in good design is sometimes lost as a result, which is a shame as the real prize of having something design-worthy is often the story behind it, what went into it being made, how we make use of it, as well as how it appeals and performs as a light.