Simone Simonelli and his fresh take on design

published in: Design, Interviews By Apostolos Mitsios, 24 June 2009

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TEASHOT FAMILY with StefCiti
2007/ product/ research
presented at: Salone del Mobile Milano - Salone Satellite 2007

We at Yatzer think that we all need new designers in order to remind us that another world is possible, although it seems that in a society that is in a constant state of recycling sometimes we tend to forget it. Designers like Simonelli inject with their fresh ideas a big dose of humour in our lives and demonstrate that we should never take things for granted and always leave a little door open to the unexpected. Why not a bird house with individual doors of different shapes or an antique fair where people are encouraged to take a chalk and draw? Simone answered all of our questions from his studio in Milan and we are more than glad to share them with all of our readers!

Simone Simonelli & the constuction of his "Almost Famous Lamps"

So Simone, how did your adventure start and how did you decide to get involved in design?
I must say I chose the design field quite randomly. Then everything changed after I lived for a period in London. I spent one year studying design there and I began to appreciate all the energy and passion around this subject. Sometimes I miss that energy, in Italy is quite different, it is less exciting. In the end, I think that what I like more about design is the excitement and the adrenaline I feel before a project delivery, it is something that affects also your body.

Almost Famous Lamps

What are the qualities that a designer must have in order to be good in what he is doing and which are the main difficulties that a new designer may face in the beginning of his career?
What I am learning it is to be obstinate. I am sure that in order to be a designer today you need to be obstinate, never give up, I think this is the only rule. Then it is very important the experimentation. If you don’t do experiments, like for prototypes, videos, research, it is becoming really difficult. And this is also the main difficulty that you have when you are a young designer: the opportunity to invest time and resources in prototypes and experiments.

Which of your projects is your favourite till now?
I am particularly attached to the Birds House, but I also like a lot a collection of cutlery I did in Chile with a Chilean designer and artisan called Leonardo Madariaga, because it was a great human experience.

Which is the most important advice that you have been given and which is the one that you give more often?
My friend Martino says: "Always put passion in your design or give up!" Mmm, this is the advice I give more often:"Have a good breakfast in the morning!"

Bird's House 2006/ product manufactured by www.industreal.it

Do you think that ordinary things can be a source of inspiration? From where do you get inspired?
I am pretty sure of that, ordinary things are a great source of inspiration! I recommend you a really nice book I came up a couple of years ago in Italy called "Design Anonimo", a book that is a gallery of objects without names, objects that are with us everyday, simple things that we probably use without even noticing it, "supernormal" objects as Fukasawa & Morrison name them. Personally, I get a lot of inspiration from "visual" culture. It is more probable that a new idea comes to me from a photo seen on Flickr than from a formal gesture. I think visual language has a main influence in my life.

Do you have any favourite designers and why?
Like I said, I really appreciate the work that Naoto Fukasawa and Japser Morrison did for the Super Normal exhibition. Lately I am really into the work of this "new-wave" coming from London, especially from RCA. I really appreciate the "New Crafts" approach of bunches of designers like Max Lamb, OKAYStudio and Simon Hassan. I like the opportunity that craftsmanship can give to a new designer to express his ideas.


"Which is the oldest object in your home?" 2008/ research
client: Antiquari Milanesi
Poli.Design space at 46th MILANESE ANTIQUES GALLERY FAIR

How did you come with the idea to dedicate a whole installation to the oldest object that everyone has in his own house? Which is your oldest one?
I received a call (together with Michela Pelizzari and Umberto Tolino from the Politecnico di Milano) from an Association of Antique Galleries of Milan in order to try to renovate their image. We came up with a series of different actions. The last one was this installation we did in an antique fair! You have to imagine the people that go at this kind of fairs, fancy and bourgeois people. You should take a look at their faces when we asked them to take white chalks and draw on our walls. It was a lot of fun.
Lately that small project is constantly growing up and next October there will be a new fair in Reggio Emilia dedicated to this topic. The oldest object I have in my house is a blue kitchen table from the grandma of my flatmate. It is a part of a collection of grandma objects we have in our house!

Lorenz installation at Milano Design Week 09
A project made with Martino Berghinz, Giovanni Pieralisi, StefCiti for Lorenz s.p.a.

Lorenz installation at Milano Design Week 09
A project made with Martino Berghinz, Giovanni Pieralisi, StefCiti for Lorenz s.p.a.

Tell us something about your future projects.
Right now I am working on new prototypes, I am trying to combine classic materials with new technologies and I am exploring my territory to find out interesting craftsmen to work with. In the meanwhile, I am also looking for a better location where to work. In fact, my friends and I are looking for a big studio-house near the Mediterranean Sea!

Almost Famous Lamps

Almost Famous Lamps

SELLA table by Simone Simonelli (prototype made by F.Riva & figli)

SELLA sketches by Simone Simonelli

SELLA table by Simone Simonelli (prototype made by F.Riva & figli) 

Lorenz Stand at BASELWORLD 2009
A project made with Martino Berghinz, Giovanni Pieralisi, StefCiti for Lorenz s.p.a.

Lorenz Stand at BASELWORLD 2009
A project made with Martino Berghinz, Giovanni Pieralisi, StefCiti for Lorenz s.p.a.

TEASHOT FAMILY with StefCiti
2007/ product/ research
presented at: Salone del Mobile Milano - Salone Satellite 2007

TEASHOT FAMILY with StefCiti
2007/ product/ research
presented at: Salone del Mobile Milano - Salone Satellite 2007

TEASHOT FAMILY with StefCiti
2007/ product/ research
presented at: Salone del Mobile Milano - Salone Satellite 2007

sources:

Simone Simonelli

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