Andrea Magnani is an Italian designer and art director who created the Hollo collection for the Italian design company Homecode. He worked with several artists including Paul Flannery, Anne Ter Har and Matteo Cibic to design the removable doors that can be interchanged on the cabinet. The doors become, essentially, a surface for the artists’ designs. Magnani’s work was exhibited at the 54th Venice Biennale.
Life+Times: I’ve read that T-shirt designs influence your approach to design. Is that true?
Andrea Magnani: Yes it’s true. When I started thinking about this project I took as reference a set of objects that could be distinguished, not by their originality or extravagant design, but rather because of their simplicity, the ability to become invisible, base, supportive.
L+T: What’s the process like for designing a new piece?
AM: There are essentially two ways. The first comes directly from my own research of new artists that are in line with the multi-faceted vision of our project. The second is that we accept proposals from anyone, and then put their designs online if we like them. But if I must answer as a designer and not as an art director, I think that any good design process should begin with research and end up with a response that “opens” possibility for some new questions.
L+T: Is there anything that is distinctly Italian about the pieces?
AM: The place, the passion and the experience of an Italian company that manufactures in Italy with a careful and critical look into the world. This is very Italian, or I would hope that more Italian companies start doing this. Two key words? Quality and innovation.
L+T: What ways to you incorporate green processes into the furniture?
AM: Thinking green is not a process that you can incorporate, but is the result of a comprehensive approach to design, a feeling that all companies and all designers must have. Hollo uses sustainable materials and production techniques, but the added value that distinguishes us from other similar projects is the ability to change the look of your interior design without having to throw away and repurchase a new cabinet. Simply change the four front doors. In addition, its design is not the result of trends but a timeless object and therefore less subject to obsolescence.
L+T: How big is your design team? Who is responsible for the company vision?
AM: We are a small team of two people. I’m the art director and responsible for the company vision, and the project manager Alessandro Bergamo. But behind us there’s a quality company called Homecode which is able to support a complex and diverse production.