designboom interviewed massimo vignelli on may 21st, 2006
what is the best moment of the day?
when I go to bed with a feeling of some accomplishment.
what kind of music do you listen to at the moment?
baroque, most of the time.
united colors of benetton identity by vignelli associates, 1995
do you listen to the radio?
all day long, a classical station, or my iPod.
what books do you have on your bedside table?
any book that I started on an airplane.
transportation graphics for new york subway
by vignelli associates, 1972
do you read design magazines?
yes many, abitare, domus, architectural record, A+U, eye
where do you get news from?
TV and new york times
american airlines identity and branding by vignelli associates, 1967
do you notice how women are dressing?
absolutely. it tells me everything about the person.
what kind of clothes do you avoid wearing?
anything trendy, fancy…
bicentennial poster USA by vignelli associates, 1976
do you have any pets?
no. I would love to, but I travel too much.
when you were a child, did you want
to become a designer / architect?
since I was 14 years old I had no other desire
heller packaging program by vignelli associates, 1968
where do you work on your designs and projects?
at my desk, no matter where it happens to be.
who would you like to design something for?
to do the vatican corporate identity program,
I would keep the symbol but change everything else…
knoll international poster by vignelli associates, 1966
which project has given you the most satisfaction?
national parks service graphic program or any other
one of great impact, that we have done trough the years.
do you discuss your work with
other architects and designers?
yes I love to, we share experiences, fees, results.
dual time wrist watch by vignelli associates for junod, 2002
describe your style, like a good friend of yours would describe it.
spare, essential, intellectually elegant, strong, timeless (at least I hope! )
can you describe an evolution in
your work from your first projects
to the present day?
my work has been pretty much consistent,
from the beginning, but I think it has undergone a
continuos refinement, to become more and more essential.
kono table, by vignelli associates for casigliani, 1985
do you think today there is the proliferation
of the decorative without a real social significance,
decoration in absense of common values, …
yes, and I hate it. it’s so shallow.
is there any designer and/or architect from the past,
you appreciate a lot?
palladio, joseph hoffmann, mies van der rohe, louis kahn…
‘fungo’ table lamp by massimo vignelli for venini, 1955
and those still working?
richard meier, tadao ando, and a few others.
any advice for the young ?
learn from the past, think of the present, dream of the future.
what are you afraid of regarding the future?
global pollution, explosion of vulgarity, and social irresponsibility.