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Material Tendencies: Piero Lissoni

Aug 31, 2018

Designer and architect, Piero Lissoni, reflects on creative freedom, diversity of materials, colors and a dislike of trends

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Text by Anita Hackethal
Photography courtesy of Architonic

In this installment of Material Tendencies, Architonic speaks to Piero Lissoni, whose works represent a broad spectrum of interest – from architecture, interiors and furniture design through to graphics, photography and art direction.

If you had to limit yourself in your work to a single material for the next three years, which one would you choose?
Piero Lissoni: I like all materials and I am very open-minded. Every material has its soul. If you limit the production to just one material from the beginning, you are automatically bound by strong rules. It is not for me to decide which material is better than the other. In a way, it is the project that finds the one honest and good material.

Have you identified certain trends in materials?
I don’t like trends. But I do use colours, new materials and new surfaces. I like to combine many different thoughts. Sometimes I ‘extremise’ the use of materials. For Porro, we used, for example, some new surfaces in wood, but we colour the wood in such incredible acid colours, so that the material is not used in its original, natural appearance. But at the same time we put together some very sophisticated surfaces.

When working on a design project, where you are free? What do you consider first – the form, the idea, the material?
We are free, more or less. But if you jump out of the classical, romantic idea of creative freedom, I think that our life, professionally speaking, and our work is a team work. When starting a design project, I never wake up in the morning with one incredible, brilliant and revolutionary idea. It is a day-by-day discussion with the team. And it is not only my personal team. I think what matters most in the creative process is the dialogue with the factory team, the engineers and the many more players that contribute with their expertise. As a designer, I want to be involved in the whole procedure and I want to be able to intervene in the making process. I like this level of not being completely free. I like the limits that each process brings with it. Whenever I did something good, it was because the project was full of limits.

This article originally appeared on Architonic, where TLMag presents articles in French andEnglish.

Piero Lissoni
Lissoni Avio Sofa System by Knoll International
Piero Lissoni
Alphabet™ PL210-1 by Fritz Hansen
Piero Lissoni
T030 by LEMA
Piero Lissoni
Fan table by Desalto
Piero Lissoni
System by PORRO
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