The relationship between designers and entrepreneurs has to be a combination of forms of expertise.

This is what emerged from the “blind date” between designer Matteo Ragni and Paolo Cesana, marketing director of Ceramiche Refin, which Interni organized at the “literary cafe” set up in Pavilion 21 at stand B77, inside the international fair of ceramics for construction and bath furnishings.

Moderated by the architect Michelangelo Giombini and Maddalena Padovani, of the editorial staff of Interni, the conversation between these two design protagonists who had never met before was an interesting face-off of different perspectives.

Matteo Ragni, referring to Achille Castiglioni, said that “design is a duet” to describe the close relationship with the entrepreneur-client for whom a project is made. “Designers are like chameleons: they have their own identity, but they can change color, depending on the context,” he went on, underlining the interaction between creativity and corporate know-how. “Those who design project themselves into the future, so they have to open up, to work with companies, not for companies.”

Paolo Cesana put the accent on how in recent years technological and aesthetic evolution has made it impossible for the ceramics industry to do without design. Designer and creative talents from other fields can offer original stimuli, new interpretations, different viewpoints to develop new products together with companies. Cesana indicated the art director as a fundamental figure, rather than the starchitect who adds his signature but disrupts a path of research: everything has to move in a single direction. The designer has to enter the company to learn about its capabilities, its forms of expertise and experience, production and technologies, materials and products, adapting his ideas to specific techniques.

Matteo Ragni and Paolo Cesana agree on the basic concept behind designer-entrepreneur collaboration: a mingling of forms of expertise.