"Ghost is a design research between shades, contrasts and transparencies that play and influence perception, creating a new dimension: the table appears much smaller and lighter than it really is". This is how Paolo Benevelli tells of his latest project designed for Capod'opera. Designer, Benevelli since 1992 has been dedicated to the research and development of design objects, industrial design and interiors with a current, personal, recognizable style. In 2010, the Milan Triennale hosts the exhibition “Il germinare del design” dedicated to him. In the same year, he made a contribution on design with Gillo Dorfles, also presented at the Milan Triennale. Subsequently, in 2011 he began a collaboration with Cini Boeri and together they designed and signed the “Gatto” project for Myyour. Among the awards won, ADI Design Index 2016, ADI Ceramics & Bathroom Design Award 2017, Compasso d'Oro Selection ADI 2018, ADI Design Index 2018, Good Design Award 2018, Good Design Award 2019 and Compasso d'Oro Selection ADI 2020.
His latest effort is the pretext for an interview with him on his way of understanding design, on his collaborations with Cini Boeri and Gillo Dorfles, on his work ...
When did you approach the world of design and when did it become your job?
From an early age I enjoyed transforming and building anything. The laboratory of my father's furniture factory was for me a source of inspiration for a thousand experiments. So I became passionate about “designing”, “creating”: perhaps what I was doing, in a certain sense, was already design. Subsequently all this became reality: I started to realize my first projects by going to companies, workshops, builders and working in direct contact with them. At the same time, companies started producing my designs. I don't think there was a precise moment in which it became my job: it was more a natural evolution of my path.
How would you define your design, your way of designing?
Research and experimentation are the two words that best define my way of designing. In my studio, between drawings, sketches, models and prototypes, I develop ideas and feed a design and creative path. For me, design is inventing something new, original, finding the solution to a problem, transmitting meanings, messages, design intelligence and ethical values. What I do is try to observe and see things from non-ordinary perspectives.
What characteristics must a furniture or design object have in 2021?
First of all it should have a good reason to be built, in other words a design intelligence. It should allow you to create an exchange, an interaction with the user, improving the functionality of the object itself or the environment in which it is located. Naturally, it cannot fail to take into account the aspects of sustainability which first and foremost starts with design quality. I also believe that a design object should not be linked to time, style or fashion, but have timeless quality.
Tell us about your relationship with Gillo Dorfles and with Cini Boeri. What did you get from them and what did you give them?
I immediately had a great understanding with Cini Boeri. When I arrived in her studio, one of the first things she said to me was: "I hope you have the courage to create something different every time." This is what I have always tried to do. From the dialogue and stimulating confrontation with Cini, our collaboration began and subsequently we also signed the "Gatto" project together. I was struck by her way of doing: a charismatic person, full of strength, energy and enthusiasm who pushed me to do more and more. I hope I have sent the same. Gillo Dorfles was a teacher, a person of great values with whom I had a relationship of absolute simplicity. He asked me to present an exhibition of my projects proving to be very helpful. Once he phoned me and said: "Excuse me if I disturb you ...", it really surprised me. In meetings and in every circumstance I have always tried to take the best things, the most valid teachings and re-elaborate them in my own way and according to my thoughts. Certainly we can be influenced by relationships or relationships but I still believe that the most important thing is the ability to go further, to evolve by always improving.
How was Ghost born and what is different from other tables?
Ghost was born from a long design research. The table appears much smaller and lighter than it really is thanks to a game of shades, contrasts and transparencies that influence our perception. The effect is created with a particular circular finish of the top that redefines the edges and boundaries. The most important part of the table becomes the transparent one since it makes the absence of the table itself. Compared to other tables, Ghost differs in that it is not an end project in itself: it reaches its full fulfillment when it is in relation to the environment, contributing to the visual lightness of the space that surrounds it.
The top finish is achieved through a very high definition digital printing process which, thanks to the tempering treatment, is incorporated into the glass itself, creating a particular unalterable effect over time. This environmentally sustainable process responds to current legislation in terms of quality and life cycle. The painted metal base is completely removable and easily transportable. The table is available in various finishes and colors. Diameter 140 cm, 150 cm and 160cm, height 73.50 cm.