gaetano pesce interview
original content
apr 16, 2000
gaetano pesce interview

gaetano pesce
© designboom


we met gaetano pesce in milan on 16.04.2000

what is the best moment of the day?
I have no idea, it depends on the day

what kind of music do you listen to at the moment?
any kind of music, my mother was a pianist, I’ve grown up with classic music
but I like innovative, progressive music very much,
usually popular music, I don’t believe in what they call classic – modern.
vivaldi was as important for his time as the beatles or the rolling stones
were during my youth, or the police… these musicians give pleasure to people.
mozart wrote and played music, which allowed people to dance.


new york sunset, prototype, 1983
courtesy gaetano pesce


do you listen to the radio?
oh, yes.

what books do you have on your bedside table?
I have no books close to my bed, the one that I’m reading on is always nearby,
on a table or on a chair… at the moment I’m rereading wittgenstein,
“in life, it is not neccessary to do a lot, but to do well”
he says something like this, infact he did very little but
he is one of the most important philosophers in history.


new york sunset, sofa, 1983 produced by cassina
courtesy gaetano pesce


do you read design magazines?
no, yesterday I was waiting for somebody and I had a look at domus.

where do you get news from?
the street.

do you notice how women are dressing?


left, center: ‘sansone’, table, sketch, 1979
courtesy gaetano pesce
right: ‘sansone’, table, 1979 produced by cassina
courtesy gaetano pesce


what kind of clothing do you avoid?
I have no idea.

do you have any pets?
no but I’m very attached to a friend’s dog, she has appeared three times
in my work.

where do you work on your designs and projects?
airplane, hotel room and toilet


left: ‘cannaregio’, componible sofas, sketch, 1983
courtesy gaetano pesce
right: ‘cannaregio’, componible sofas,


who would you like to design something for?
a very serious problem is that most of the people have lost the connection
with the society, they don’t work for the needs of soceity.
they work for academic, esthetic and formal reasons.
they risk being marginalized from real life. we have to answer peoples’ needs,
create something useful, give joy and happiness.

is there any designer in past who have influenced you a lot?
yes I think mies van de rohe was a great innovator, he did a complete process,
this type of real innovation always includes 3 things :
innovation in language, material and tecnology.
another figure who may be greater is michelangelo or caravaggio,
leonardo for the multidisciplinary.

crosby chair, 1999, for de padova
courtesy gaetano pesce


what about colleagues; are there any particular you appreciate?
I think frank gehry is a very good architect, he’s the most interesting architect
among traditional architects.

which of your projects or designs has given you great satisfaction?
I go from one thing to another, my work is not monolithic, so it’s difficult to say.

describe your style, like a good friend of yours would describe it.
when I was 17 I wrote , as an introduction to the catalogue of my first exhibition,
that we have the right to be incoherent, meaning that we are free from ourselves,
so there is no style, no repetition.


floor lamp, 1998
courtesy gaetano pesce

you told me you prefer to talk about men and women,
you find it much more interesting than talking about design.
yes, no..about feminility and masculinity.
we are the product of a 5000 year history, we thought that the best way to think
is the masculine way. using the masculine side of our brain.
our best values were coherence, strength, homogeneity, dogmatism, seriousness, rigidity.
it’s been a long time that I’ve thought we have to use the other side of the brain.
the one we use when we joke or when we are drunk, without control.
the female side of the brain is multidisciplinary, full of feeling, it is the bridge, joy,
elasticity, softness, all the characteristics of this historic moment.
so if you think about architecture, we have masculine architecture :
rigid, abstract, sad, homogenuos, against the human body.
we need feminine architecture, which is much more friendly to the human being.

on the news they said that italians are afraid of
unemployment, criminality and pollution.
what are you afraid of for the future?
europe in 1500’s, when they discovered america and
an enormous expansion to another continent happened. we are in the same situation now.
when life is not any more possible here, we’ll go to another planet.

comments policy
login with designboom
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

product library