NATUZZI ITALIA AND THE CIRCLE OF HARMONY
three years ago, pasquale junior natuzzi — better known as PJ natuzzi — took over the creative direction of natuzzi italia, the apulian company his father founded in 1959. shifting the focus from the product to the experience, PJ’s quest is to share with the world the mediterranean lifestyle, one that is deeply rooted in nature, hospitality and harmony. ‘at natuzzi, we have always believed in a holistic vision on harmony, which is both a feeling but also a creative expression of beauty that resonates through our products,’ he told us when he first launched the circle of harmony.
following both the speed and scale of changes we have been faced with on so many fronts in the past year and a half, PJ natuzzi italia invited eight designers to translate this feeling of constant change and transition towards the unknown. expressed in the motto live the transition, the new concept of harmony takes into consideration domestic spaces and how they should adapt to different functions that might facilitate the transition into the new normal. ‘the ability to embrace evolution and change and to be enriched by this evolution is an inherent instinct in mediterranean culture, an inexhaustible source of inspiration for our collections,’ he continued.
studio marcel wanders
LIVE THE TRANSITION
for the second year in a row, PJ natuzzi has invited designboom to witness what the circle of harmony is about, and how he believes that forging relationships, creating new friendships and sharing both passion and love for projects results in honest and relevant products. while in apulia, we sat down with PJ where he introduced the collection and experienced first-hand the warmth around the circle of harmony.
stay tuned as we unveil natuzzi italia’s live the transition collection featuring designs by marcel wanders studio, sabine marcelis, formafantasma, lorenza bozzoli, marco piva, elena salmistraro, patrick norguet and massimo iosa ghini.
INTERVIEW WITH PJ NATUZZI
designboom (DB): this year, you are opening a new chapter of the circle of harmony. what are the common points and the differences between what you presented last year and this year?
PJ natuzzi (PJ): the circle of harmony is all about research for experimentation together with finding different talents. we have a desire to discover diversity in this world and blend it with our ecosystem. we nurture those differences to create something special, something unique, something that can make people happy by just seeing it, by just living it.
something that keeps being constant in this circle of harmony is the overall feeling of creativity, friendship, harmony, joint research, and experimentation. the main difference, of course, is that every year I try to find new names, new talents, new friends, new designers, new creatives to work with us. and the topics that we take into account to drive this evolution also evolve over time. this year we wanted to make the transition, live the transition, and the whole collection really talks about the transition.
sabine marcelis and PJ natuzzi
DB: how is the collection approaching the ‘transition’ theme?
PJ: transition is definitely a constant in our lives — but it really is a state of mind. in the transition you are stimulated and taught to better understand the ecosystem in which you are moving. this year we tried to understand natuzzi’s role in this new era we’re all living, finding new trends, and discovering new ways of living our daily lives in our homes. within this circle of harmony, and the new live the transition collection, we pointed at four main topics: motion or moving objects and how movements in our homes can help enhance our daily lives; multifunctionality or having objects that can answer to different needs within different times of the day; small space living, as we are more and more trying to optimize and maximize the spaces in which we all live; and how wellness can set new standards into product design, not only through wellness functions, but also through shapes, colors and forms that can nurture a sense of well being. overall, our aim was to harvest new topics for the world of interior design that could be meaningful within this transition.
photographer alistair taylor-young, elena salmistraro and PJ natuzzi
DB: traditionally, homes in the mediterranean have seen many people of the same family live together in the same spaces. it means that multifunctionality and pragmatism have been present throughout the history of this region. in a way, what we now think is a new trend has actually been part of human development for centuries. how is your new collection related to this tradition? and how have you been able to translate these features into our contemporaneity?
PJ: I believe that we are all attracted to human centered design, not only as an outcome, meaning products that enhance people’s lives at their best, but also a process of designing, researching and development, which is more human, with a better pace, and more sustainable on a 360º standpoint. the mediterranean taught us a new lifestyle in which things can be done more harmoniously. having nature as a source of inspiration, but also nature as an ecosystem that we should be devoted to, resulting in us being sustainable with our design thinking. the mediterranean gives us all this inspiration that we find very relevant in the creative process. and in the meantime, it’s really setting new habits, that more and more people are making their own. nature, harmony, sustainability — what natuzzi wants is to make people’s lives better. this mix is very organic in the mediterranean culture.
DB: how much is the theme of transition connected to your own personal experience in the past year?
PJ: I’ve been living quite a lot of transitions in my personal life and I’m learning to surf this wave. sometimes living the transition could be felt like a passive mode, right? like you have to live the transition because the transition is bigger than you. yes, it is bigger than you. but what can really make the difference is to make the transition. if you make the transition, meaning you believe in that transition even before the transition comes, you’re prepared when it actually comes and you are in charge of it. I was feeling this urge of revolutionizing my life even before everything changed over the last year. when everything imploded (or exploded), I was there. I took this new air with sadness and happiness, but in the meantime, I always saw the change we were faced with as an opportunity. I interpreted the transition on a personal standpoint with new habits, new hints of inspiration, small ones for my daily life but also bigger for a broader sense of life. but in general, I’m pretty happy seeing a new mindset among my friends and colleagues. there is a new attention to how harmony can affect our lives.
DB: natuzzi has always been known to put people’s comfort first and to respond to customer’s needs. how has this approach evolved with this changing world where people’s needs have become more diverse and more precise in terms of furniture?
PJ: we were very focused on being close to our customers. we tried to set up the best technologies and processes to never stop talking to them, whether it was through social media, keeping them inspired while sharing what we feel and think beauty can be, but in the meantime, giving them the best service through virtual and digital tools. during these months, we learned that we can be there for our customers, no matter the physical distance.
this wave of changes, this openness to new possibilities came to natuzzi pretty strongly. from how we started to co-work together, breaking boundaries, being more flexible, more sustainable, to learning that technology can serve us at its best. it taught us to be more sustainable — less travel, less waste of material to make prototypes, we also incorporated the use of digital technologies, renderings, virtual prototyping, etc. all this helped us to be more precise, to have a better pace, and to be more focused and effective.
DB: what do you think the world is currently needing, and how is natuzzi confronting it?
PJ: the world now is more than ever keen on relevancy — something that can really make a difference, something that can be really useful. maybe you watch it, you click it, you use it. otherwise you might just say, another day. so in this sphere, what we want is to try to make our creativity, our narrative, our research more and more relevant for the consumers.
we’re definitely talking about upcycling, recycling, and reuse. we also started thinking about new solutions and new services for our customers that will come up in the following months. our research for new materials and smart materials is getting us great results. we have new solutions so we can be a better brand for better humans out there. and I know this might sound a bit dreamy, but we can all really live a better world. I think that in this there is a lot of mediterraneanism, because we are extremely grateful for the beauty that this land provides us — the sea, the sun and the nature around us, it’s always a breath of fresh air. it inspires us a lot. it is this sense of devotion towards nature what we cannot miss.
massimo iosa ghini
studio marcel wanders
NATUZZI ITALIA (14)
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