Design looks for a more real and more intimate communication. To spread culture and to invent a new retail

Not all digital comes to harm. It is thanks to him that communication evolves and is measured with new methods and new arguments. If brands are looking for a more human contact with their customers and if, so to speak, they begin to call them by name. After all, the companies found themselves with strangers at home: the internet disintermediated the contacts, brought customers, potential or not, to direct confrontation. Everyone benefited from it, finding each other closer. We give ourselves the you, metaphorically. The products live in real homes, they are the object of family ironies, of informal conversation.

The friendly chatter is not played on the attempt to sell but to get to know each other. The home is the ideal place and the stories, the natural gossip instinct, become the contents. Brands broadcast directly, build culture around products. Sometimes they become patrons of the artistic product tout court. Just think of the sponsorship of podcasts like Morgana, or the production of films, videos, books, conferences. B&B Italia and its podcast “The couch”. Flos and the video “We aren't just another lighting company”.

Nobody says the word “Buy me”, even though we know everything is for sale. The leap in level is evident: since communication has become human, everyone has gained it. And the main tool is the internet, because the mainstream still struggles a lot, although it tries the path of placement and, at times, manages to spread culture seriously.

Design finally arrives” exclaims Paolo Iabichino, one of the “gurus” of communication in Italy. “He could not remain extraneous to evolution without risking closing himself in a very narrow niche. The tone and register of communication must resonate with people's values”. They are phenomena that humanize communication: exactly what we need. Even Francesco Bergoglio talks about it, suggesting communicators to follow the invitation to “go and see”, to meet people and not just indoctrinate them or sell them something. The task of design, according to Iabichino, is: “To educate the greatest number of people to a certain sensitivity, to beauty done well”. It serves to open our eyes to the toxicity of hyperconsumption and the value of a product that can last for generations. “Raising awareness is a beautiful vocation” continues Iabichino, “it serves to bring the general public closer to respect for workers and a value chain, to product sustainability, and to retail designed to celebrate meeting liturgies, not just sales”. Design can defuse a certain form of ignorance linked to unconscious consumption. “It is a cultured sector, which has skills and designers capable of great cultural mediations. It is ideal for defusing consumerist temptations that prevent us from reflecting on the value of the product”.

Many brands are working on the direct production of content which, rather than selling or attempting product placement, aims to celebrate a preliminary, to “go and see”. Gallotti&Radice recently presented the video “Homescapes, embracing beauty” which is a poetic excursus between the old and new pieces of the company. The bodies that inhabit space and use objects explain more than many words what it means to enter into a relationship with something that is beautiful and hard, that is well done, of which one can imagine the origin and, consequently, the end.

Minotti has chosen a similar path to present the novelties of 2020. The series of three videos is titled Endless Moments of Pleasures. Three minutes of the thoughts of imaginary characters that tell the relationship with the house, with beauty and its value of refuge and serenity. Nothing is shouted, everything speaks. Paolo Iabichino explains it well: “The first skill is sensitivity. It takes patience, maturity, concentration and prudence to communicate in an evolved way”.