The founder and president of the Friuli-based company, Paolo Vernier, talks about the brand's outdoor evolution

"I think that what has changed over the last two years is the way people use their homes. In this new situation we listened to our stakeholders to try to give our contribution to those who wanted to furnish what turned out to be perhaps the most important rooms, such as the living area. We also dared to propose collections that anticipated trends: I am referring to our outdoor furniture that was in the works before the arrival of the pandemic. Living outside the home has become anything but banal, and the focus on the outdoors is very high now".

Paolo Vernier, Midj's president and founder, rattles off the concepts that mark the latest evolution in research by the Friuli-based company, which has made craftsmanship its trademark since 1987.

How has the boundary between outdoor and indoor changed over the years? Is it true that on the one hand we demand the same quality from outdoor furniture as from living room furniture, and on the other hand we look for furniture for our living room that gives us the feeling of living outdoors?

"The market is asking for more outdoor articles at the moment, and there are many companies that are approaching this sector with their proposals, precisely because of the public's desire to experience outdoor spaces in freedom. Making a product that can be used indiscriminately indoors or outdoors is very difficult because we are talking about different materials, especially in the world of upholstery. We at Midj are also tackling this issue: the projects we are putting into the pipeline in recent weeks seek to pursue transversality of use between indoor and outdoor. I will take the Qua-ndo collection as an example: the design of the models and their construction characteristics make it suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, we will only have to choose resistant fabrics and finishes, but the design will not change. This does not mean that we will become an outdoor furniture company, but that in addition to the living area we would like to furnish the terrace next to it.

What does it mean, concretely, to unite industrial dimension and artisan manufacturing vocation as Midj does?

"Combining manufacturing, design and industrial production is the key to a company's success, which also allows it to arrive on the market with an affordable price and the right quality. Midj makes the difference by combining manufacturing with 4.0 machinery and lean production logics: this allows us to bring forward manual skills, attention to detail and our know-how, guaranteeing an industrial cost to the product, always remembering that it is made in Italy."

Designers with long careers like Paola Navone and young creatives like Studio Pastina sign for you: how do you choose collaborations?

"We provide ourselves with a creative brief that gathers the salient points of the project to be developed. Giulio Iacchetti, who designs the Spike table for us, is interesting in this respect. According to Giulio, it is necessary for companies' briefs to be filtered by a designer because brands' ideas are revolutionary and always projected into the future. The figure of the designer comes into this quest for innovation, which would not exist if companies knew exactly how to realise the idea. In fact, collaboration is fundamental and a communion of style is indispensable, it is necessary to be like-minded. Paola Navone has a contemporary spirit, the ability to surprise with a skilful use of colour, and this brought us closer. Giulio Iacchetti has the ability to combine materials in a unique way and when the collaboration comes to life it is important to share and marry the characteristics that distinguish one and the other, company and designer".