At the start his steps seem to be governed by the law of two or multiples of two. He studies in two cities: for Industrial Design at IUAV University of Venice, then graduate studies at the Milan Polytechnic.
While still a student, Alberto Ghirardello gains experience in two studios: he begins at Bartoli Design, and in 2010 moves on to work with Giulio Iacchetti, his faculty advisor, collaborating with him for two years. When he forms his own design studio in 2013 in Milan, for two more years his works are often done in a duo with Irene Sartor.
His research stems from careful observation of everyday life, small problems to solve with simple solutions, as in the case of separate trash disposal or the protection of walls and handles against the impact of doors and windows.
Serious and easygoing, he combines technique, tact, color and play in his projects, as well as a sort of ‘vibrant’ spirit, as he explains: “I like to insert a poetic, emotional element, something that triggers surprise, irony or just sympathy, to make the product vibrate with a life of its own, if only for an instant.”
He calls himself a 360-degree designer, as was already clear in the competitions in which he took part – from 2007 to 2013 – coming out a winner, applying his intelligence to illustrations and furnishings, a commemorative postage stamp or a story for Alessi, a case for watches inspired by a sardine tin or a coat rack that symbolizes the European Union.
In tune with a new generation of designers who willing shift from I to we, Ghirardello designs not only objects but also meeting places, passages, evolutions.
Examples include Paths, a two-way installation where young designers cross paths with managers having corporate experience, or the Sesto table, made in response to a challenge formulated by Leroy Merlin Italia with Design Lab, in which young designers are asked to design furnishings that can be made by anyone using products that can be found at the store and on the website.
To make Sesto, the co-design/user becomes an artisan and learns how to use a pipe bender, a typical tool of plumbers, which is essential to put the legs into good shape.
Text by Virginio Briatore