Andrea Morgante interviewed by NodusAug 16.2021
Nodus collaborates with the most famous designers in the world. These creatives are famous for their style and for the continuous innovation they can bring with their ideas. One of these artists is Andrea Morgante. We interviewed him. So let’s get to know him better, to understand what his ideas on design are and what developments he foresees for the future.
How would you define the essence or primary characteristics of your work? Every designer has his own style, his own distinctive features… What are yours?
The love for the narrative value that I try to imprint in every design gesture. I am fascinated by objects that instinctively and gradually manage to transcend matter and form, evoking a micro-narrative, sometimes partially hidden. I also believe in the poetic nature of form, lightness and tactility: the hand often caresses objects before the eyes.
What are the people or stories that have most influenced you in your career?
I was lucky enough to grow professionally with Jan Kaplicky, mentor and friend, perhaps one of the last masters of contemporary architecture. From Jan I learned the meaning of artistic integrity.
How does your country’s culture and traditions enter into your projects?
I think I have developed different cultural roots over time. Italy, my country, where I grew up culturally, then London, where I have been working and residing since 2000. And finally Japan, a long lasting love affair, sustained by numerous explorations and travels. I alternate the influences and contaminations of these countries and cultures in each project, often discovering unexpected similarities or creative overlaps.
How do you see the future and what do you think will be the new trends in design?
The future is linked to technological innovation, processes and materials. Honestly, I’m not interested in predicting trends, I’m more fascinated by the identification of new symbiosis between innovation, seen as actuality, and archetypal models of forms and relationships, seen as design traces released from time.
What do you think about sustainability today? Do you think that it is a basic element of design, or that it is an added value?
I think we have arrived at a historical phase in which contemporary design must be integrated with environmental awareness, life cycle and reparability. It is no longer a choice as it could have been ten years ago, nor should it be experienced as an added value. Contemporaneity means sustainability. Sustainability of materials but also of production volume: never before has it been so necessary to produce less but better. There is a beautiful article by Goffredo Parise that appeared in Corriere della Saera in 1975, in which he praises a return to “poverty”, seen as a necessary remedy to disproportionate consumerism, based on the awareness of the quality of materials and the necessity of the objects we buy. Parise may have foreseen a minimalist attitude before the term was even coined.
How much does the social aspect matter and how often is it present in your projects?
The design and execution of an architecture or object inevitably involves social impact and resonance. It is an enormous responsibility, a challenge to find the balance between utility and social benefit, without overdoing narcissistic parabolas.
Is design more emotion, more rationality/functionality, or both in equal measure?
Design should always be functional, by definition, and if it fails to establish an emotional relationship it is no longer design, regardless of whether it fulfills the required function. Emotion is the elixir that guarantees an object to survive in time and memory.
What do you think about the role of textiles in design?
I always think and design in a three-dimensional way. Textiles for me is a beautiful challenge in conveying the three-dimensional aspect through the one-dimensionality of textile material. In my carpet for Nodus, I sought the absence of dimension, inspired by the physical-philosophical theory of Leibnitz, i.e. the particles that make up matter, a metaphor for the knots that make up the weave of the carpet itself.
To conclude, an aphorism or phrase that represents you.
What I am is what I have done. What I will be is what I do now.
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