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Interviews | March 20, 2017

Giulio Iacchetti

He loves the Italian craftsmanship and believes that the objects are carriers of emotions. The designer from Cremona, who has collected prestigious awards and collaborated with major brands like Alessi, Magis and Foscarini, has never had a swollen head

words Marzia Nicolini

Your design style: how do you define it?

It is not easy to give it one definition: it is rather a matter of oxymoron. Emotional but scientific, rational and instinctive… There is no a standardized way of doing design: sometimes the projects arise from an emotion, sometimes from the obsessive study of lines … Every time is a breakthrough.

Among your projects, what makes you most proud of?

Actually I feel an immense love for the design stage: I love things in the process, I get attached to the pieces I’m improving… Once they become serial production, I will lose interest. The moment of genesis: this makes me really happy.

Can you tell us something about your coming soon projects?

We are working on totally different things. We have just relaunched Il Coccio Design brand at the Frankfurt fair, offering a wide collection of ceramic objects signed by young designers. A very complex project, designed with Leonardo Sonnoli. Then, of course, we are all projected toward the Milan Design Week. Many things are coming down the pike: I’m a prolific man. We will introduce a convertible sofa, a family of chairs, a wall hanging and toys.

What piece of advice would you give to a young designer?

The best advice is: no advice. The only thing I would say, is that it takes so much resistance: to make design is like running a marathon. Only those who resist will go on: the final shot matters little here. What is important is the ability to carry out projects.

What’s your best talent?

Always being able to get surprised, as a child. For every project and every success, I always feel a genuine thrill of pleasure and surprise. The reason is obvious: I have always been in love with the objects – touching them, owning them, observing them – and I have great respect and admiration for those who think and realize these objects.

Among the many pieces around you, do you have a favorite one?

My large family of objects is extremely important to me. Now I’m in love with a wooden fox: it is the gift of a friend, Emmanuel Zonta, and was made by the Swiss Antonio Vitali. A miraculous, little piece communicating many emotions.

If you could live the life of a creative person for one day, who would you pick you?

Actually, I do not envy the lives of others: I am so pleased with mine. But I would love seeing a Beatles concert.

The book that every designer should read…

It’s hard to find your own master, but I personally found enlightening the ‘Autobiografia Scientifica’ by Aldo Rossi (Basic Books): a summa of truths and a Pantheon of design references. I read it when I was already grown up, but it still was a revelation.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve received during your career?

I had no mentors in my life: the objects always give me the greatest lessons. I just listen to them and observe them, and they speak, so much. As those by Enzo Mari.

You may discredit a prejudice about the design world: which one?

A false myth is about money: there isn’t much. This is a job like all the others: it’s true, we enjoy some fame because of the newspapers, but that is all.

You’ve been wearing glasses for a long time: how did you choose them?

I own a set of glasses – all pretty the same – that I bought from my trusted optician and great friend, Antonio Stella. His shop Aspesi 1910, at the entrance of the Università Statale in Milan, is a landmark. I use to go there to buy glasses and to chat about everything. A few years ago I read an article on Ottagono, talking about a collection of glasses that Oliviero Toscani had launched, inspired by those given from the US healthcare: very simple glasses, like those of Woody Allen, which were sold by Aspesi. I bought a pair of them and so my friendship with Antonio was born. Together we have also launched ‘4occhi’, a two in one eyewear collection with interchangeable lenses. Fiorello once wore them!

What is a well-known bespectacled character that you love?

Woody Allen: he has always been maintaining the same frame. Glasses, after all, are like traveling companions: finding a pair that makes you feel good is not easy. I too love to remain faithful to the same model. When I wore a different type of frame I wasn’t at all comfortable. Not to mention when as a kid I tried the contact lenses: such a disaster.

What makes a pair of glasses beautiful and practical too?

I believe that the functionality is obvious when talking about eyeglasses. While the aesthetic choice is something totally personal: everyone looks for something different in the frame to buy. Quoting Battiato: “Some people wear sunglasses to get more charisma and symptomatic mystery.”

Can you tell us one of your dreams yet to be realized?

Creating a project related to my hometown, Castelleone. In Cremona there is a strong commitment to music production: I would like to invent something in this regard, working with local businesses.