Foscarini was to unveil his new project VITE (VIES) at the Salone del Mobile, finally postponed to 2021 due to a health crisis. Interview with Carlo Urbinati, president of Foscarini, to present this new approach of the Italian house, which speaks of light no longer from lamps but of those who live with it.
With VITE (LIVES), the lamp no longer holds the status of an object. Does this mark a change in strategy for the house of Foscarini?
Carlo Urbinati: We wanted to find a new way of presenting the lamp, which goes beyond the simple product. “ Fare . Luce . ” consists of presenting a product in a specific environment. With VITE, we are now focusing on the impact of light on everyone’s life. This is why we asked Gianluca Vassallo to travel to the four corners of the world and to capture the relationship of 17 households with their light. Because each of the lamps, whether in Copenhagen, Naples, Shanghai or even here in Venice, has its own story, intimately linked to the home in which it is located. People chose them for different reasons, and we try to show them. This project marks a turning point in the sense that “ Quick . Luce . Vera . ” becomes a motto of our house.
You place the human at the heart of VITE (LIVES). Does this reflect a change in the Foscarini identity?
CU: On the contrary, we remember that we practice a design that has meaning, that we create for people. These people that we see in this project, who each evolve in their own way with the light, it is for them that we reflect and that we create. These people are individuals like you and me, friends, friends of friends or acquaintances.
You say it’s an evolution of projects Inventario , Ritratti and Maestri . In which way ?
CU: It’s a logical continuation of these three projects. When Inventario came out in 2010, we designed it as a think tank: a magazine on the culture of design that draws inspiration from visual arts, architecture, photography or sculpture. Then comes Ritratti (2015), which focuses on the lamp as an object, staged in a specific environment. In 2018, Maestrie highlights the artisans we work with and the production process of our lamps.
For the project that was to follow, we had to detach ourselves from the staging which somewhere shows a weakness of the product. Rather, it was necessary to present the product in various places in order to show its strengths. This is how VITE was born.
The experience of light is now at the center of the project. What happens to the use of the lamp?
CU: QUICKLY shifts the focus to space, of which the lamp becomes a constitutive element. This allows us to better understand the relationship it has with its environment. We will no longer have to extract the lamp from a specific environment to imagine it in our home, since VITE presents it to us in about twenty scattered on both sides of the planet.
Are you getting closer to the vision of an interior designer?
CU: More exactly, we produce an element that allows you to create a space. However, with VITE we offer everyone the tools to design their interior, whether they are professionals or individuals. This is why we have made the effort to offer a wide range of inspirations, far from the cold and staged images of the past.
You had to present this project at Salone del Mobile 2020. What about the future of this project and of Foscarini?
CU: VITE was to be the flagship project of our Salone del Mobile. Given the circumstances, we are working to make the project completely digital in order to share it with as many people as possible. We also had to release a catalog, which highlights our creations and our reissues. However, we put it on standby, because we do not consider it time to offer new products.
So what was the impact of the health crisis on Foscarini?
CU: From a business point of view, we’ll be groping, but I think the rest of the year and the year ahead will be complicated.
Internally, this difficult period prompted us to review our operations. We had to work remotely for almost two months, and we continue to favor it. We had to relearn how to work together, especially during virtual meetings, which also pleasantly surprised me: creative exchanges are more effective in the sense that they are faster, more focused and promote the sharing of ideas since everyone talks to each other. his turn.