Those of you who attended events during Architecture Month Week in September (why did they call it “week”?) probably felt a little frustrated that you weren’t able to make it to more of them.
Thanks to Carrie Ann Miller of Pickworthbell Communications, you can now get in to see architect and design guru Piero Lissoni for his chat at Boffi in Georgetown.
I must admit, I had never heard of him before, but one search on Google Images revealed how much I’ve been missing of this innovative architect and product designer from Milan.
Here is Carrie Ann’s Q&A with him:
I caught up with design legend Piero Lissoni at his lecture for AIA DC Architecture Week and the launch celebration for Boffi Georgetown, the new Boffi flagship store he designed in conjunction with Boffi’s marketing team.
Part philosopher/part design practitioner, the architect offered insight into the collections and designs that have taken him around the world and engaged him in all aspects of design, from furniture, lighting, houses, resorts, hotels, and yachts to corporate identities and packaging.
Lissoni says his work is influenced by the streets of New York (his favorite city), the designs of Milan (his favorite city for design), and the shapes and styles of Japanese origami. In the new Boffi Georgetown his hand is evident throughout, from the graphite walls to the spare lighting accenting the showcased kitchen and bath lines – many of which he also designed.
CAM: How would you describe your design approach?
PL: It is hard to be simple; it is easy to be complicated. Minimal only comes at the end of the process. My approach to design is humanistic, to look at both faces of the same issue – combining history and the quality of life, and incorporating the layers of technology and culture.
CAM: Is there a recent project that brings that approach into focus?
PL: Definitely the renovation of and addition to the Boffi factory. I was committed to keeping the old but bringing in the new.
CAM: Impressive restraint comes through in the final designs of your projects, where’s the fun for you in each new design?
PL: It can be anywhere and in something very simple. Say for example, with homes or retail spaces, I love designing stairs. It’s like a game to design connective space. Stairs are imperfect, like nowhere, a space for thinking as one travels on the stairs.
CAM: What about technology? You just stepped out before your lecture to buy an iPad.
PL: Technology is clearly a draw. I design for the now, whether I’m sketching ideas on site for clients, or working with my favorite materials – concrete, plastics, and glass. I want to create a space for future architects to design new buildings.
Lissoni has departed from Washington, but go check out the Boffi store in Georgetown to get a real sense of what he was talking about last month.