When and how were the ideas born that have inspired your new projects?
Edward Barber e Jay Osgerby Every project is different.
At times companies provide indications and demands; in other cases the project emerges directly from an observation or a theme we are studying, such as a focus on color, materials or production processes. Ronan e Erwan Bouroullec By drawing! And lots of discussions… Stephen Burks If I get one idea every day I am happy: it could take concrete form, or not… In design terms, I try to begin with the activity that is done in the space, or that gravitates around the product. Antonio Citterio Ideas always come from the dialogue with companies: they come from analysis of the market, of needs, of typologies. It is not a question of drawing, intuition, formal expression. The design is the solution of the theme. Claesson Koivisto Rune In unimaginable ways! Some people may be surprised, but ideas often come from good old hard work. Perhaps right before the deadline… Carlo Colombo Ideas come from the cultural background every person constructs for themselves over time: I’m thinking of the years at the university and, above all, the ‘school of life’ that happens day by day; traveling also leads to a higher degree of professional development. But inspiration also comes from dialogue with companies: at times the best projects emerge from a discussion, an exchange, a sketch on a scrap of paper, made right there, without a computer, just as people did in the old days… Odo Fioravanti Usually ideas come from little sparks in very different moments and places. The place they share is not physical, it is a sort of opening, a window to an inner dimension. The place of my ideas is not outside but inside, somewhere. Front It is hard to say, it always happens in a different way! What we can say is that for us it is always important to work as a team in the ideation phase. It is unusual to start projects simply from topics that interest us: we always start with the client briefing, with their needs. Then the project takes on concrete form, from a material or a technique… in practice from anything that attracts our interest. Konstantin Grcic Behind ‘ideas’ there is a lot of work. Thinking produces the best ideas. Martí Guixé When I analyze the fundamental elements of the project, my ideas arrive. Ineke Hans I often observe the habits and behaviors of people, the places where things happen that were not ‘supposed’ to happen. Often these ‘strange’ and amusing habits are closer to a concept of beauty and practicality, even without the involvement of socalled ‘design.’ Ferruccio Laviani As I have always said, my design philosophy does not exist. Things can happen in an instinctive or a thoughtful way, it depends on the sensibility of the moment and the context in which I am working: all this gets sifted in a professional way. Mathieu Lehanneur My studio works on an average of twenty to twenty-five projects at the same time. To move forward with all of them, I am used to thinking about each one for ten minutes a day, ten very intense minutes. In the time that remains, my brain keeps on thinking and works on its own. The next day it gives me the results and I feed it again… Arik Levy Every day something arises and every day I get ‘pregnant’ with new ideas… the only problem is where, how and when to put them to use… Lievore Altherr Molina Every idea appears for different reasons. They all share observation, dialogue, the encounter with the identity of the brand with which we are working. Obviously my design vision, my experience, play a role. Piero Lissoni In the shower… no, just kidding! Everything comes from everyday discussion: projects take form from sharing. And from real, concrete needs. Indeed, constructing needs is another particular feature of Italian design. The beauty of designing, actually, is resolved in a debate that is not necessarily friendly, in thorny conversations: it is discussion that wins out. Always. Is a new chair needed? I start to study. I discuss, talk, and everything starts from there… Ross Lovegrove I refer to a ‘way of thinking,’ a set of ideas in which I believe. It took concrete form about sixteen years ago and now it is beginning to find expression with aesthetic and philosophical consistency that is reflected in the projects of my studio. Jean-Marie Massaud Two typical situations. Alone, relaxed: in the morning, after having taken the kids to school, I rest a bit and ‘dream’ for a half hour. My mind is clear, free of stress, thoughts flow naturally. All I need are a notebook and a pencil. Or in interaction with others: discussions full of enthusiasm from which the objectives in play, the synthetic solutions, suddenly appear clearly. It all happens very quickly. Ingo Maurer I would love to be able to explain it to you, but after all these years it is still a miracle to me! Alberto Meda In the moment in which an idea that previously did not exist appears, a little piece of knowledge is added, in whatever field, and it takes on value. To innovate you have to take a look at what exists: it would be foolish and presumptuous not to make reference to the real, but one has to use what we might call a ‘cross-eyed’ gaze, an unconventional, not conservative viewpoint. The innovator is a bit of a heretic, perhaps a scamp who has the habit of contradicting existing things, of finding new connections: the desire is to go beyond, with the imagination, because being innovative also involves an aspect of pleasure and challenge. In the great storehouse of the possible one moves from one suggestion to another through a series of thoughts and lines of reasoning. You follow a path though you do not know where it will take you. You glimpse something and make a small move. This, as confirmation of your intuition or utterly by chance, is what produces more than the act in itself. In short, it is a question of intuition, of chance and coincidences. I would like to underline the fertile encounter with chance, with completely unpredictable factors, because I do not believe in an absolutely programmed act of design. Ideas arise unconsciously, they cannot be planned, though they can be stimulated by an experimental attitude, by curiosity about technologies and materials, by the capacity to transfer, contaminate and graft types of knowledge that may be very distant from each other, integrating them. It is the knowknowledge contained in the material that inspires the idea. You just have to recognize it, interpret and apply it, revealing its intelligence… Paola Navone All my projects come from an encounter. For example, the very special encounter with Christina Ong has led to my two latest projects: one in Thailand and the other in Miami. And the inspiration and aesthetic of the single projects are linked to places: the landscape of Thailand and its infinite reservoir of crafts products, for the project of Point Yamu, and Deco architecture for the project in Miami. Nendo Everyday life. Always: taking the dog for a walk, eating pasta, drinking a nice cup of coffee… The little ideas are always the best, and are concealed in the everyday dimension. Luca Nichetto The fact that I travel often has led me to ‘look at’ the object to understand the context where it will be used. In the past perhaps I started designing, thinking about what the object would look like and what function it would have. Now, instead, I try to start with the context, which allows me to give more precise responses with projects that are not connected with the ‘wow effect,’ honest works that are the result of ‘small’ intuitions. Philippe Nigro Sometimes ideas appear after lots of effort, thinking, research (and despair). In other cases the arise in a very natural way, after having seen a good exhibition, for example, or after a visit to an interesting place. Sometimes good ideas are the continuation of reasoning that began in previous works. There is no precise rule: let’s say ideas come from a set of things from the past and from everyday experience. Patrick Norguet My ideas come from an encounter, from knowing the history of a company, from the performance of a production technology… Drawing, designing for its own sake makes no sense for someone working as a designer. Jorge Pensi Ideas happen at any time, even when you are not sitting in front of a drawing board with a pencil in your hand. One important factor is the personal relationship you have with the client. If you are in tune, the winning idea can come right away, during the briefing. Many of the objects I have designed are the result of experiences of this type, almost magical, I’d say. Marc Sadler At times ideas are ‘bolts out of the blue’ because they can happen at any time. The sources of inspiration vary widely, but nature, for me, is one of the richest and most fertile. Sawaya&Moroni Our projects come from an innate cultural curiosity, but also from the needs of the market; they take on consistency from the swapping of ideas, conversations, even ‘clashes’ with the designers with whom we work… In short, discussion plays a very important role. Matteo Thun Inspiration is an everyday thing, potentially in every moment. Each year I try to make more time for ‘free thinking,’ which I like to jot down in watercolors and sketches. Tokujin Yoshioka First of all by asking a question: “Does this object cause emotions or not?” Then the idea gradually takes form and becomes a strong, well-defined image.