alessandro mendini interview alessandro mendini interview
sep 07, 2000

alessandro mendini interview

alessandro mendini© designboom

 

 

we met alessandro mendini in his studio in milan the 07.09.2000

 

 

what is your best moment of the day?when I feel at peace with myself.

 

 

what kind of music do you listen to at the moment?I listen to music from the orient, china, hong kong.

 

 

‘proust’ armchair 1978,now produced by cappellini 

 

 

do you listen to the radio?never

 

 

what books do you have on your bedside table?I don’t read at night, I read a lot of books, 15 or 20 at the same time.they are mostly criticism, psychology, new age, and philosophy.

 

 

do you read design magazines?yes, many.

 

 

‘lassù’, performance 1975

 

 

as an expert on publications on design, since you were the editor in chief of ‘domus’…how do you judge the current panorama of printed magazines?do you think that internet will take the place of the printed page?magazines serve to give information. today magazines contain a lot of information,but without a soul. they don’t have a message.they simply give information, and I make do with this.printed magazines will survive, I say this because I don’t know how to use internet…even if I like computers. this past summer I took computer and oil painting lessons,just for a balance… internet will certainly be extremely important and bring about a hugerevolution.

 

 

newspapers?where do you get news from?I am a sort of information kleptomaniac. I get it everywhere, from newspapers, books, trips, talking with people, like right now. (laughs)

 

 

groninger museum, netherlands1989 -1994’atelier mendini’ in collaboration with ‘alchimia’invited artists/architects:michele de lucchi, gerd koster, feruccio laviani,phillippe starck, frank stella, coop himmelblau…

 

 

do you notice how women are dressing?do you have any preferences?certainly, and men too. I’m not such a good dresser, but I like well-dressed people,I mean those who can transform through makeup and clothes into themselves. choosing something to wear is like doing a self portrait.

 

 

what kind of clothes do you avoid wearing?I don’t think I have any prejudices, I dress simply, without preconceived ideas,I wouldn’t wear costumes from the 1700’s.. and I don’t know how to dress up in acostume.

 

 

busstop, hannover, germany 1994

 

 

do you have any pets?I have a guest who is a cat, he’s not mine but he often comes to visit. we’re friends…

 

 

where do you work on your designs and projects?I design in my studio, at home, at my country house…but since my designs are basedon a theory, on a literary thought, I deal with this aspect in the waiting rooms of airports,for example.

 

 

‘anna g.’ kitchentools for alessi

 

 

who would you like to design something for?I would like to make places of worship for any religion…

 

 

when you are working, do you discuss or exchange ideas with your colleagues?I talk with my colleagues in my studio a lot, and also with a lot of other designersbecause the way I work is to involve other designers, both unknown and famous ones.

 

 

‘sirfo’, small table, for zanotta 1986

 

 

you have always involved a lot of young designers in your work,do you think they have changed in the last 10 years?I’m not objective enough to say. as far as regards my own experience,I’ve always found that ‘cutting edge’ young people always have given me a lot ofstimulus, and I am also a kleptomaniac for what I can get from them.

 

 

describe your style, like a good friend of yours would describe it.I am on a quest to communicate through my objects and work in general,trying to say things that encourage people to deepen meditation and spirituality.

 

 

‘chocolate’ calculator for alessi 2000

 

 

 

which of your projects has given you the most satisfaction?and which do you like the most?my design is the milky way, the kaleidoscope of the system of all my objects and works,a sort of nebulous that I can’t grasp, this is what gives me the greatest satisfaction.I recall proust’s armchair and the museum for the city of groeningen.

 

 

is there any architect or designer from past you appreciate a lot?palladio.

 

 

‘calamobio’ for zanotta 1985-88

 

 

what about colleagues, are there any particular ones you appreciate?frank gehry, philippe starck and many others.

 

 

any advice for the young?I’ve never given advice to either the young or the old.

 

 

left: ‘dor’ vase for venini 1988

center: ‘stelline’ chair for elam 1987

right: ‘the milky way’ glass for ritzenhoff, 1992

 

 

on the news they said that italians are afraid of unemployment,criminality and pollution. what are you afraid of regardingthe future?I fear the general escalation of violence in the world.the world is really violent.

 

 

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