Nominated by Rosita Missoni, designer Marco Lavit Nicora is sharing his experience of Maison&Objet 2018 Rising Talent Awards and describing his artisanal approach.
How would you explain your experience concerning the mentorship program of Rising Talent Awards as part of Maison & Objet 2018?
I was nominated by Rosita even if we haven’t met before. Of course I knew the family, more the members of the younger generation who are around my age. We are both from Varese. I knew how Missoni was integrating craftsmanship in their production. Artisanal approach is the thing connecting Missoni with my studio. They integrate the design with production, which makes the brand unique. In my case, I don’t work with big design firms but with galleries. Besides this, I have my own artisanal people that I work with. I call them my design family. Even if my studio is located in Paris, I work with the same artisans in my projects. Whereas if you work for big clients, they have their own production facilities. These are two different ways of creation.
What are you exhibiting? I see a unique material mix and a touch of bondage in your work.
I presented these four designs in 2017 at Nilufar Gallery. I like to experiment with leather. I know great leather artisans. I learn a lot from them concerning how to play with leather. I like combining leather with cold materials such as steel and glass in order to add some warm touch in the products. This can be easily seen in this table. The bondage feeling is maybe coming from the fact that the artisan I am working with, used to create saddles. These kinds of details are typical for saddles. He proposed me to add such details to enrich the design by adding some quality. In the case of the sofa, as I started to collect ideas, I told my friends that I would design a full steel sofa. When you hear this, you think something hard to sit on or something too heavy. Because you can’t really imagine what a full steel sofa can look like. I wanted to use steel like a fabric by choosing steel mash in order to give a transparent feeling to steel. It is not as comfortable as an upholstered sofa yet still taking the shape of your body and creating its own ergonomy. This was what I wanted to achieve; something, which couldn't be imagined as comfortable but works that way.
Which topics are becoming more relevant in the contemporary design discussion from your perspective?
I would like to work with design firms besides my cooperation with galleries, as it is a completely different process that I would like to experience. In the gallery projects we know a lot about the final clients. The gallerists mostly know the environment and clients’ tastes. As I come from the architectural background, I am used to work for a certain client. I used to develop projects around the needs and wants of my clients. Working with galleries is a similar approach as you don't have to follow a commercial or trend oriented style. You know that there will be some people appreciating your work. I would like to work in both gallery and design firm scales.
Which media, figures, movements and developments are you following?
I try not to be informed much. I don't want to be influenced. I use my Instagram account as a website as it is the fastest way to showcase your work. I don't follow anyone. I don't read design magazines either. There is too much information around. This might hinder you from developing an idea as you might think that your idea is too close to this or that one. This is very limitating. I do care about what is happening around the world on a macro level; how people act, what they need, how they live in their real life communities not what design firms already offer them. Whenever I do research for a new project, I collect the ideas from my surrounding, I travel a lot.
How do you want to evolve your design practice?
Until now I have been researching in the artisanal approach. By doing this, I learned how to use materials and integrate them in my own design language. Creating unique pieces will be still on my focus. In addition to this, I would like to cooperate with rather smaller design brands having unique histories and approaches in order to experience the rather commercial approach. I see this as a new and exciting challenge in my design work.