Giulio Cappellini, Art Director of Cappellini, photo © Hannes Magerstaedt
Robert Volhard: How do you manage to discover such great new talent over and over again?
Giulio Cappellini I travel a great deal, I meet lots of people, sit on design award juries, am a guest professor at various design universities. When I see a sketch of an object or a prototype and have the feeling that I can’t live without this product, that I want to have it in my house tomorrow, then I know the designer has talent.
Why are there so few Italians in the running at the moment?
Cappellini In Italy the first generation of designers came with Sottsass, Castiligoni and Magistretti; then came the second wave with Lissoni, De Lucchi, Citterio, etc. Now there are a number of interesting new talents among younger designers that have caught my eye. In recent years, too many young people have solely focused on getting a good Masters degree. Now we are experiencing a new kind of freedom – and we will begin to see a number of very interesting designers breaking through in the coming years.
What distinguishes such talent from the rest?
Cappellini Passion for the product is very important. Developing a new product takes a long time. Without passion they won’t ever experience success.
Which themes are of particular interest to you?
Cappellini Design is my life. I have a great interest in contemporary art. There are quite a few similar similarities between art and design. I am interested in anything contemporary, from music to art. I believe that it is important to live in the here-and-now, that we know what is going on in the world around us. And that we allow it to inspire us.
In earlier years Cappellini was considered “loud”; today almost all brands are “loud”. What are Cappellini’s new strategies?
Cappellini I don’t want to just design individual products but rather, as was the case with the Bouroullec brothers, work on long-term projects to design entire landscapes, a landscaped home interior or office, for example. Of course there are individual pieces within such a landscape too, such as a table or a chair. However, the focus here is on an overall concept. Naturally, we could simply design lots of wonderful products, but in my opinion it is much more important that we concentrate more on integrated ideas.