Architect Piefrancesco Arnone

Tete-A-Tete with Experts Dated:  Feb. 24, 2015
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Architect: Piefrancesco Arnone

We chatted up with the very talented Italian architect designer Piefrancesco Arnone, who is currently in India on an assignment. Piefrancesco who graduated in architecture from Palermo University has been working exclusively on industrial design and interior design since 1998. Here are some excerpts.

Private Flat

What kind of design do you love to do?
Since I started out as a designer, I have been in search of a union between primary and working materials, giving harmony to shapes, identifying it in daily objects, while always searching recycled waste materials and to use it on a design. In 2004, I established my office in Italy; I live there and design my work which comprises design orders from international companies.

My work consists of:
Product design- Designing products, from complementary fittings and lighting to flooring and furnishings while working in collaboration with several national and international companies like Officine Mandelli, Francolight, Fogazza, and Waterjet G&G, Eureka, Palumbo Marmi, Caruso Handmade.

Living Room

Interior design- Mainly working with retail and shop fitting, including designing and remodelling of both public and private spaces, while seeking to use innovative materials that are in the market to characterize every individual remodel. As a home shopper I take interest in a project on every step by offering advice in purchasing furnishings while always keeping the customer’s preferences, attitudes and needs in mind. Fascinated and curious by my surroundings, which serve as a source of inspiration for my work as well as drawing from its essence, I developed projects that interact with customers that trigger both the senses and curiosity.

Most of my designs are distinguished by the desire to interact with the product, because the object, the architectonic space and the perspective view that originated, must always encourage the people to feel it as a personal and exclusive moment that everybody is seeking for. I have been the Design Tutor at the Politecnico in Milan, Subject Expert in Theory and History of Industrial Design at the University of Palermo, and have participated in numerous exhibitions and fairs including the Furniture Fair in Milan, the SMI (Zurich), the Fair Tales of Kortrijk (Belgium).

Lighting

To date my activities are divided between Senior Interior Designer for Bhartiya City and Studio Creo in Delhi and Product Designer, Project Manager in Italy where I am involved in bringing together the University and the Furniture Companies.

I love my job and I love to make a mark in every project development, because that puts me in touch with a new world, with a new person, with my experiences & understanding their needs.

How did you decide to get into product design?
I always wanted to design, I studied as an architect, and can design something that addresses the needs of the people. I have always been impressed, it takes little effort to move from a product design to a large-scale project design, changing needs, functions, but the design and the enthusiasm is the same. Many Interior Designers & Architects design products.

Private flat Interior

Which do you enjoy the most - large scale design or product design?
I like both equally well. I like to work in the same way as an Interior Designer and a Product Designer because in both the cases, as a Designer of the project, am able to solve the needs of everyone.

As a product designer, what are the different challenges you face as compared to interior design projects?
The difference is that as an Interior Designer, we often design in a more personalized way for a specific customer, and as a product designer, it takes a more generalized approach of thinking that many people, who perhaps you will never know, will enjoy your project.

Living Room

What motivates you?
I answer that question with a sentence of Achille Castiglioni, one of the fathers of Italian design: “Good design is not born by the ambition to make a mark, but by the desire to establish an exchange, however small, with the unknown character who will use the 'object designed by you.”

Who/what are your inspiration?
I am a very curious person, a dreamer, I see so much around me. I try to stimulate my design senses wherever I go, but mostly I try to satisfy my craving for interaction with the end customer. But above all, any design must be functional!

Please tell us a bit about products designed by you.
My project which I first presented in 2000 at the Salone Satellite, at the SALONE DEL MOBILE in Milan, was Cork Stool, a stool entirely in cork, ecological and antibacterial, a project of pop art, which is being replicated by the Italian Francolight. Polypropylene rotational colored. Francolight decided to invest also on my ideas which were born later and three families of lamps - Land, Soul and Maya. But three different sectors have brought success to the company and me. In 2004 I met Mandelli who believed in my project and then Link and Spy, two handles which now are quite hot selling by the company. In 2008 I won a selection Calligaris with the project Francis, a valet stand for the bedroom entirely of wood.

Land Lamps Design

I found the space for other companies, I wanted to diversify my projects and design concrete tiles for Fogazza and garden decor and urban Eureka. Lately I have been selected in a contest in Treviso with a piggy bank in iron and leather and participated from 2010 to publishing project "Le ricette dei designers", an exercise in which the food designer magazine Octagon has reserved 70 international designers.

Which of these products is your personal favorite?
Each of my projects has a history and a design process, all are my babies of a careful study. Perhaps the handle LINK because it came at a particular moment of my life.

Are any of these products commercially available? If yes, where can one buy them from?
Certainly. The handles can be found in India at Studio Creo which also has a showroom with the most important Italian Furniture and Kitchen. For all the other products, you just have to look on the internet, at the companies mentioned.

What are the factors you keep in mind when doing custom product design for your clients?
Three aspects are always present in my work: the lucidity, the interaction, the curiosity, elements that allow the potential user to steal the product and my customer to increase visits.

Office

Lastly, how has your India experience been?
My experience in India continues to be interesting, it is giving me a lot of design stimuli and I have gotten to know great people with values and characters that in some ways are similar to mine.

There are many foreign designers here who work very well, and I have seen excellent work with talented Indian Interior Designers, who are educated with the knowledge of products and innovative ideas. I work with Parushni Aggarwal, an Interior Designer and her team of Architects and Interior Designers at Studio Creo. They are very professional and we are developing several projects in India.

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