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vico magistretti interview
original content
mar 22, 2000
vico magistretti interview


vico magistretti
courtesy de padova

 

february 2003
this was designboom’s first interview (march 22, 2000).
we decided to re-publish it in a new translated version.

 

what is the best moment of the day?
the evening, because its nice not to think.

what kind of music do you listen to at the moment?
I only listen to classical music. I love mozart,
I don’t know anything about music.
I’m not interested in music after shubert,
I only like music up to Beethoven, him included.

 

‘carimate’ chair 1959, for cassina
now manufactured by de padova

 

do you listen to the radio?
I listen to music on the radio.

what books do you have on your bedside table?
right now I have a pile of 30-40 books,
but I’m not reading them, I’m just disorganized.

do you read design magazines?
no, never.

 

‘vidun’ table 1986, for de padova

 

where do you get news from? newspapers?
I don’t read them often, I like the herald tribune the best.

do you notice how women are dressing?
do you have any preferences?
I like women’s fashion very much.

what kind of clothes do you avoid wearing?
I never wear athletic clothing,
even when I play golf I wear the pants I normally wear.

‘selene’ chair 1969 for artemide,
now manufactured by heller

 

do you have any pets?
unfortunately no, I live alone and
animals need to be taken care of.

where do you work on your designs and projects?
everywhere, in bed, on a plane, in my office.
I always have something to write down ideas in,
I sketch on newspapers or magazines in airplanes,
usually I tear out the page and then draw on it.

 

left: ‘samarcanda’ easy chair 1998, for campeggi
center: ‘vicosolo’ chair 1998, for fritz hansen
right: ‘shigeto’ cupboard 1988, for de padova

 

who would you like to design something for?
I can’t stand schoolish-sounding titles like ‘pianist’s house on the garda lake”‘
I believe that architecture and work is always conditioned by reality.
if not, then it is something else, a different work.
this means that there is no excuse for designing ugly things.
in the sense that since work is always conditioned,
but it is born to be conditioned, a hypothetical work
seems to me to be something absolutely stupid.

do you discuss your work with architects and designers?
nobody, milan is the city of solitude, nobody.

 

‘maui’ chair 1997, for kartell

 

describe your style, like a good friend of yours would describe it.
style is a word which I detest, I think that the two greatest architects
of this century were frank lloyd wright and le corbusier,
I try do design as simply as possible, remove excess.
I like mies when he said less is more.
I think that this is the proper way to understand our work.

which of your work has given you the most satisfaction?
I never like to go back to work I’ve already completed, ever.
sort of like how the guilty person should never go back to the scene of the crime.
a project I really loved was a building on piazzale aquileia.
but usually when I think back over my work I only see the errors I’ve made.
and I am indulgent towards them, I understand that even though
I only see my mistakes, something remeins

 

‘silver’ chair 1989, for de padova

 

is there any designer and/or architect, you appreciate a lot?
leaving out michelangelo, the modern movement is also my own history,
I particularly admire franco albini and ignazio gardella.

 

‘atollo’ lamp 1977, for oluce

 

and those still active, are there any particular ones you appreciate?
I like castiglioni’s work very much, and I don’t particularly like the work
of the ‘in’ architects of the moment.

 

‘eclisse’ lamp 1965, for artemide

 

what are you afraid of regarding the future ?
I am an anxious person, and I’m afraid of everything.

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