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Design is a natural attitude of human being

Design is a natural attitude of human being

Architect Fabio Novembre says a good designer, first of all, must be a good person, and his desire for transformation should never evolve into forms of prevarication.

How does a design get to evolve with human instincts?

Design is a natural attitude of human beings, the only animal capable of changing the conditions rather than adapting to them. However, it must be admitted that this particular attitude often leads to breaking the balance that allows his survival, as we may see with issues such as pollution and climate change. I believe life is, first and foremost, a matter of aligning priorities, and perhaps doing design is just that: establishing your own. A good designer must first be a good person, and his desire for
transformation should never evolve into forms of prevarication. In three words, design is passion, generosity, and authenticity.

Who all the great persona you adore, and who impacts your work?

In 1676 Isaac Newton wrote: «If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants». I am fully aligned with this interpretation, and my giants
range from Fellini to Gandhi, from Majakovskij to Sottsass. I read life as a relay race in which you must be ready to run your segment by grabbing the baton from the previous generation and entrusting it to the next, performing at your best potential.

Is there any Indian Architect name as well?

We must mention the visionary Balkrishna Doshi, awarded the Pritzker Architecture in 2018. He has shaped the architecture of India with his evolutionary design of social housing and territorial urbanism.

Which project, according to you, was among the first ones to put you in the hall of fame? What led to the inception of your studio?

Designing Blumarine showrooms worldwide gave me an essential boost in the architectural environment. Later I worked on projects like Stuart Weitzman showrooms worldwide, Casa Milan in Milan, and MediaMarkt’s Lighthouse. I collaborated with Lamborghini, Google, and Philip Morris International. But it is important to remember that the Hall of Fame is not consistent. The only thing that counts is to design with passion.

How do the challenges and resolutions drive your journey?

Experience is like baggage that is enriched by the passage of time, but that risks weighing down the very meaning of this journey that is our life. After nearly thirty years since I opened my studio, today I feel much lighter than the granitic certainties of youth. I internalised the old Socratic adage, and I can consciously say, “I know that I know nothing”. I don’t know where this lightness will lead me. I hope I will learn how to fly.

In long-term practice, professionals are often defined by their affinities toward design strategies and materials. Has it ever happened to you, something you believe will come to define both of you in subsequent millenniums?

My projects are like 3d stories that I have told and continue to narrate using the language of many materials such as mosaic, Corian, glass, and marble. But I think the story drives these choices I want to tell. It’s like casting a role in a movie.

Is architecture much beyond form and function alone?

All the works I have done have been conceived for the public because I believe in architecture as an energy multiplier and an active interaction between space and the user. I design spaces where people can connect and come together.

Which are some of the recent projects and interests?

In recent years we have been working more and more on architectural projects. For example, Motorsport Network, the world’s largest motor media company, asked us to design their new tower in Miami. I often travel worldwide, attending many events related to design and art, such as Salone del Mobile in Milano, Design Miami or Art Basel. But at the same time, as an architect, I’m perfectly aware that events combine people and space, spreading fresh new energy.

Tell us about the accolades you have won so far.

To answer your question, I’ll quote Master Ettore Sottsass: “Prizes are more useful to those who give them than to those who receive them”.



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