We talked with Giulio Capellini during this year's Maison&Objet Rising Talents programme. He shared his insights on shifting Capellini's direction to a global landscape, extending the brand's scope to hospitality and gastronomy sectors.
How would you explain your experience concerning the mentorship program of Rising Talent Awards as part of Maison & Objet 2018?
When Maison&Objet asked me to become a part of the Rising Talents, I was very happy because I like to work with the young people. I chose Antonio Facco because I know him since few years, he worked with me. He has a really strong personality and he wants to create something new. It is very good and exciting that a fair like Maison&Objet give space to the new talents and in this case, we have a nice group of young Italian rising talents.
Antonio Facco's designs for Cappellini
When it comes to Italy, you have the great masters but at the same time the young generation is promising. As one of these masters, what do you think of the young design scene?
I think today, there is an interesting new generation. It is not easy to be in the same scene with the big masters in Italy like Achille Castiglioni, Alessandro Mendini and Ettore Sottsass. But today the young designers have a great deal of freedom. They still have the Italian DNA but they are free, so they don't do copy of the masters. They work on innovation. Today innovation is not about new shapes because the most beautiful shapes of the design world has been designed in the 50s and 60s. Today there are new materials and new production systems. In the past, design was not very high end and it was a small, niche market. Today it is possible thanks to the new materials to create good design products which are more affordable than the past.
Most of the big furniture brands are now producing accessories to create a more affordable line, to be democratic.
This is very interesting. We create high end and also industrial products at the same time. Good design is not about producing expensive products. You can also make a chair that costs for 100 or 200 Euro. With accessories you can create a complete ambiance. Since few years, I work on accessories; from carpets to objects, it is another dimension of design.
As Cappellini, what are your future projects for transforming your legacy to the design culture?
I have a lot of projects on my mind, so much that can already be enough for my next life. Now I would like to work on a global landscape not just product design; lounges, public spaces, residential areas. The first Cappellini Hotel will be opening in China in the second half of the year. We will also open the first Cappellini restaurant in Vietnam. In the hotel and the restaurant, everything is designed by the team of Cappellini, even the food.
I believe this will add another dimension in terms of translating the Cappellini culture. Which topics are becoming more relevant in the contemporary design discussion from your perspective?
I think that there is a lot to work in terms of promoting design. In order to start a new product we have to find a new way to promote the product. People are still afraid of design. They used to see design products in the permanent collections of museums or in beautiful shows. We still need to work on the communication and show people there is a research process in the background of the product.