Alhóndiga Bilbao

From an encounter with LORENZO BARALDI What are the differences, on a theoretical and practical level, in terms of concept and production, between a temporary set made for a film and a permanent installation for an architectural work? “Only the materials, not ‘fixed’ and ‘humble’, but easy to remove.

Otherwise there is no difference in the idea and the design, though working with Starck I have realized that his vision as a designer is very connected to details, to perfection in the making, while personally I am more focused on the overall perspective”. In this work you concentrated on every phase, from the idea to the installation, like a designer who creates a piece of furniture and sees its production through to completion. Does that also happen in cinema? “It was precisely my experience with cinema that enabled me to do this job. Actually, on the set much more design is done than you might imagine. Just consider the fact that in two years I make an average of 4 or 5 films, and in each film I have to furnish over 100 spaces”. Are the two fields similar in terms of the human resources involved and the timing? “It depends on the size of the film. At times the teams are small, at times there are many people working on multiple sets at the same time, but the schedules are always very tight, very fast, often in isolated places, in the mountains or the middle of the desert,a real race against time, nothing like the deadlines found in architecture and interior design. Starck called me in 2008, but from the idea to the assembly of the columns in 2010 only five months passed”. What is the importance of drawing for the construction of a film set? “Drawing is extremely essential. By drawing you can ‘talk’ with the director, the producer, the buildings, because a sketch can be immediately understood. I don’t want to hear anything about AutoCAD, because it is a cold medium, it doesn’t convey the atmosphere of the environment and the decor. My assistants absolutely have to know how to draw”. An assessment of your experience with Starck? “It’s been positive, like working with a good director. It required a certain type of work, so as always I developed a range of hypotheses and we chose the best ones for the project”.  Your favorite reference points for design inspiration? “I’m omnivorous: my research ranges from sector periodicals to contemporary painting, I am still thrilled when I see a design by Gio Ponti, Ettore Sottsass, Vico Magistretti, Achille Castiglioni, people who truly renewed the living scenario. In any case, by background, as a former student at Brera, was mostly in painting. My favorite periods in art range from Impressionism to the Macchiaioli”.