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.



alessandro mendini interview

‘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.



alessandro mendini interview

‘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)



alessandro mendini interview

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.



alessandro mendini interview

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.



alessandro mendini interview

‘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.



alessandro mendini interview

‘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.



alessandro mendini interview

‘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.



alessandro mendini interview

‘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.



alessandro mendini interview

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.



alessandro mendini interview

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