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MOHD interviews: Chiara Di Pinto, Studiopepe, on the return of the house as a refuge
From styling to actual design: Di Pinto and Lelli Mami started working on the interior photographic sets, for which they began to design specific elements. From there to designing real product lines for companies, the step was short and well accomplished, if it is true thatis today among the most popular in the international arena. Cover picture by Andrea Ferrari.
How did theproject for come about?
Our collaboration with CC-Tapis has been going on for many years and we naturally started designing rugs. Then on the occasion of our "manifesto" projects that are for us the moment of the year, during the Salone del Mobile, in which we highlight all the skills of the studio, we had designed wall hangings that had been very successful and the following year we thought of combining the idea of textiles, very hairy, with the mirror. This is because often our manifesto projects then become real projects with companies to go into production.
What kind of environment is theseparé designed for?
It is one of the first product design projects and it was very interesting because withwe had already designed Pret a porter, with this system inspired by the curtains with these metal joints and this black tubular, made much more chic. And from Pret a porter many other projects were born, including Elysee. The interesting thing is that even there we have developed a series of variants. The separé is a theme that I like very much, because it is a mobile theme and a product that can create very beautiful corners depending on your needs. And among other things, it is a historical product and at this time when the houses are not really huge it can be used in a more fluid way.
How was thetable born?
Jupiter was presented last year at the Salone del Mobile not only on thestand but also on the occasion of Les Arcanistes (the “manifesto” project by Studiopepe for the 2019 design week ndr). In this case we wanted a very sculptural table because Baxter works a lot with the materials and therefore we imagined it with this precisely sculptural base and for the top, which has an irregular shape, we wanted to use a metal that however was not cold and preferably in its purity, not lacquered, varnished or in any case free of finishings that change their nature. We have identified this metal, nickel, which has the characteristic of being warm also to the touch. If normally a metal table can be very cold, this is very pleasant to the touch and warm, as well as interesting from a visual point of view.
Companies and designers are dedicating a lot to contract, what happened to the house?
From our experience, rather, there is a domestication of the contract, obviously it is an area that has very specific needs and rules, however I know that above all from an aesthetic point of view the contract is approaching in the style of the house. And in particular, after the experience of the lock down, the house has returned to the center, and there is a need, both large and small, to make it more similar to ourselves. When we talk about contracts, they are products that arise from the need to design furnishings as we like and then "contractized". In my opinion, there is now increasingly a trend to cross over spaces: homes, hotels, workplaces now have common languages. And hotel rooms are humanized, made more human, closer, precisely to the house.
Speaking of the lock down experience, do you think there will be any changes that the house will undergo in the long term?
In my opinion there are many things and it depends on the life you have, it is obvious that the house is the refuge and this was an excellent opportunity to stay inside the house, contrary to what happened lately when we were practically always outside. And the house must really resemble us. Trivially also having a space suitable for a video call, or equipping and taking care of the balcony, a space suitable for children.
You are familiar with the dynamics of the press and social networks, but how important is communication in your work and what is it for?
We have many followers for a design studio and we are very happy about it, but we do it in person: there is our job, there are things that inspire us, it is like our diary. Not with a promotional purpose but just like our diary. It shorten the distances and above all it is an excellent opportunity to establish cross-links that would otherwise be difficult, because you recognize yourself in other people who maybe do a job different from yours but feel alike. Then let's face it: today if you want to look for someone you go first on Instagram and then maybe on their website.
Is there anything you would have liked to present at the Salone del Mobile and that was left open in the end because the Salone was not held?
We brought our "manifesto" projects to the Salone del Mobile for three years and this year we said to ourselves that we didn't want to feel obligated to do something, we do it if we have something to say, also because they are projects that are totally produced by the studio and therefore they absorb a lot of energy. So we had decided that this year we would not have done it, against the trend, and this proved to be right.
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