ART OF LIVING
TRADITION Break from or Back to ۱ഢߖ൦ߵ݊
Dining high-style ۢĭ ۢĭ ൔᄥ൦ۢ
LOVE AROUND THE CORNER ሏࢠუ֦ρ
Hand-made Warm To TheTouch ଋ֭໙౮
Another X-mas in Paris
ART SITES BORN ON INDUSTRIAL LANDSCAPE
2007-12 ീஐӕRMB20ᆇ ୟᆇUS12ᆇ ఒᆇEuro10ᆇ
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hat are young Italian designers doing? How do they express themselves? What thoughts do they have about design? The experience of Marco Acerbis might just be a classic example. After having studied, worked, traveled and expanded his horizons outside of his country, he returned home, where he opened his own studio. There, he began working as a free-lance designer, designing for several large, well-known brands, all the while seeking interest in design through expression. Fontana Arte’s lighting entered China in 2005, when they exhibited their aesthetically distinct lighting objects in Shanghai, showing onlookers about Italian design culture with their wonderful workmanship and skills, and giving them a taste of “the art of life.” With nearly 80 years of history manufacturing Italian glass and providing lighting to leaders in design, this company displayed to the world the innovative spirit of young Italian design. As Fontana Arte’s head designer, Marco Acerbis was in the midst of all of this. His products span a range of ﬁelds including architecture, interior design, industrial design, etc. His work is known for its simple, elegant exterior and remarkable practicality, while at the same time being very thoughtful. C&D: Can you talk a bit about your experience in the ﬁeld of industrial design? Marco: I am a structural architect. You could say that my specialized background has nothing to do with product design, my major at university was architecture and interior design. After I graduated, I worked for six years at London’s Norman Foster Studio, then I opened my own studio in London. I’m interested in everything, whether it is big or small, it doesn’t matter if it is architectural design or the idea of product design. These are two completely different worlds but they also have similarities. I wish that everything lasted forever, which is obviously not possible, but this makes me understand that design cannot be inﬂuenced by what is popular, it needs to go beyond popular and can’t be bound by time. This is also applicable to product design. Today’s products all strive to be fashionable, they’re too inﬂuenced by trends and forget that these things all have their own history, they have generations, even centuries of past. Three years ago, to get more sparks of inspiration, plus the fact that I was planning to begin doing product design, I returned to Italy. Italy has many famous businesses. Of course, the entire world has big companies but, after all I’m Italian, so I decided to return to my home country. After
returning home, I got to work and design the Vertigo lamp, and it became the beginning of a dream for me. Because, while working, I found a new type of diamond-producing technology, I really like these natural stones, at the same time, I felt it was an honor being able to design products for the world-class brand Fontana Arte. After Vertigo was released, it sold a lot, and it was even nominated by the Italian Industrial Design Association for the 2008 Golden Compass Award. After this, I was always designing and working with different well-known companies. C&D: Tell us something about Fontana Arte’s new products from your perspective? Marco: While designing products for Fontana Arte, I incorporated my newest ideas, it is a combination of elegance and practicality and it’s been really successful. C&D: In your work, what do you think is the most important value? Marco: Aside from the practicality of objects, I think that there is something else that is the most basic, products must be able make the person who bought it like it because, in the end, these products have to live with the person they belong to, they have a relationship. I think that this is the most important value, it cannot be designed, but we still have to work hard to achieve this. When designing we have to be more careful, we have to be meticulous with the details and the exterior, you can’t just do anything. C&D: How do you view overproduction? Marco: Overproduction is the inevitable result of globalization’s expanding market, more clients are making the production capacity rise in suit. This is the result effect of the market, but it is only one way. Of course, overproduction implies more pollution. But the government is responding really quickly, before the environment and people are affected by it, the government gets the pollution under control. For example, the Nobel Peace Prize was just given to Al Gore. You could say that over production is a sign of cheap production power: they rely on a lot of small proﬁt to earn money, but, at the same time, the quality of the products is also relatively poor. International ﬁnance policy isn’t able to help regulate this. I think that this is a bubble economy, we are currently losing the true meaning of market. C&D: Have you ever thought about designing any products for a Chinese company? Marco: I have really thought of it. Not only product design, but also architectural design.
I hope that I will be able to work with a Chinese company. I put a one-page advertisement for my studio in “Viaggio in Italia ed. per la Cina”. The Italian Chamber of Commerce in China published this advertisement for me for free in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai. They also put it in the “Art In Life” exhibition. You ought to go and look, it’s really interesting. C&D: Has your family had an inﬂuence in your career choice? Marco: My career has all been my own choice. Since I was young I’ve liked design work, I think this
type of thing is very creative. Later, studying architecture in school and working in London at Lord Norman Foster’s Studio all just naturally followed, it was a choice I made based completely on my interest and hobbies. I think that being able to take advantage of my youth to travel around the world and come into contact with different cultures has been a big help in my design. From Tibet to Colorado, these journeys have given my designs an international perspective and this is very important.