We talked with Guglielmo Poletti at Maison&Objet 2018. He shared his experience of being supported by one of the masters of Italian design scene, Rossana Orlandi, as a part of Rising Talent Awards.
How would you explain your experience concerning the mentorship program of Rising Talent Awards as part of Maison&Objet 2018?
I must say that it was a great experience. Initially I was a bit worried that my work would not really fit the context of a commercial fair. But so far I am extremely happy because Maison&Objet gave us so many possibilities as a communication platform. We met a lot of interesting people and international press, to whom we could explain the vision behind our work. So I think it is an amazing event – it’s not common to have the opportunity to share your point of view with such a broad audience.
What are you exhibiting?
Given the limited space, I have decided to bring just few pieces, as my work needs some air around it in order to be appreciated. I am showing pieces from my ‘Equilibrium’ series: the bench and the console – which were initially part of the works I developed for my graduation at the Design Academy Eindhoven – and a brand new prototype of a table light. Plus the stool, on show both at the ICE stand here at the fair and at the Italian embassy in Paris.
Which topics are becoming more relevant in the contemporary design discussion from your perspective?
I think of the boundaries which define different practices as a very relevant topic right now, because we are breaking boundaries a lot. The growing market of the design galleries specialised in the limited editions allows artists and designers to apply their own vision to different projects. This creates a certain freedom in today’s design scene, letting one shift from the industry to the installation or site-specific work. Things are moving on and we are not sure where we are going, and in my opinion this is already an interesting process.
Some examples are people like Olafur Eliasson, Mathieu Lehanneur or Studio Drift, who all go from pure fine art installations to products with commercial purposes. Personally I am very fond of the work of artists such as Isamu Noguchi, Donald Judd or Scott Burton, who embraced sculpture and furniture simultaneously. I think these kind of models help to get rid of the need of labelling, to question more and more what is happening around us.
Which media, figures, movements and developments are you following?
I really look at architecture and sculpture, they are the two most fascinating disciplines for me. There are some architects whose works and methodology I appreciate a lot. For example, Peter Zumthor’s way of working is not that of an engineer/architect, but that of a sculptor. When I see an architect integrating freedom as an artistic approach to the process that is really inspiring. I am interested in works that speaks for themselves.
How do you want to evolve your design practice?
I am trying to go step by step, I don't want to rush to be able to understand what are the right moves for the evolution of my work. I am willing to maintain an experimental attitude towards my practice, and I am intrigued by the challenge of keeping a specific approach even with the industry. So at the moment I am collaborating with an Italian company for which I am designing some ceramic wall tiles, and I am really looking forward to seeing the first prototypes soon. Then the next important will be the coming Milan Design Week, during which I will be exhibiting at Spazio Rossana Orlandi three new works which will complete the ‘Equilibrium’ series. There will be a very big dining table, a big suspension light and another work produced with an historical glass company from Venice. It is a limited edition company with a very high craftsmanship tradition, so I am especially excited about this collaboration. Finally I will also be showing new and old works with London gallery SEEDS, which will be probably presented in the form of an installation.