Mr. Chiave, the principle of design has always been “form follows function”. How is the focus changing now that sustainability is becoming increasingly important?
In my opinion, the idea that design follows form is overstated and overshadows more important aspects. For me, design is about emotion, memory, dreams, heritage, culture, and craft – the things that make up the part of design that speaks to people’s hearts more than their minds. Designers are problem solvers. If we improve the lives of people, we can improve the wellbeing of the planet. So, sustainability, especially circularity, is becoming extremely important for designers. We as humans are responsible for how we live, consume and respond to the world that surrounds us. But as designers, we have an even greater responsibility because we are the ones who create new things. And creating new things may not always be the smart thing to do, maybe new is not always the right approach in today’s world. In a way, we’re seeing a kind of renaissance of design.
What does circularity mean in the context of design?
Sooner or later there will be a natural appreciation and awareness of products that show that they are recyclable and responsible in their own way. So, we try to reuse, recycle, and redesign things. It’s about rethinking the process of creating a product from the beginning. For example, at the Marcel Wanders Studio we created the Flos Skynest lamp. It’s a timeless design piece that combines the tradition of handcrafted weaving with innovative lighting techniques. Each element is inserted between the central core so the individual components can be easily disassembled and recycled when broken. In my opinion it’s the essence of a beautiful, handmade product that is sustainable, ethical, and technologically innovative.