Industrial product design – different philosophies in the stone world
‘Design da Nordest’ (a broad-ranging event described in more detail in this article) was not merely the worthy celebration of the twenty years of activity as a designer of Raffaello Galiotto, a professional who has once again demonstrated his multifaceted range of skills, but rather it proved to be an extraordinary place to meet and exchange ideas for all professionals in the area who, in one way or the other, are interested, or work in the design world. Many matters were discussed, one of which is particularly interesting to us: what’s industrial product design?
On Friday, 24th May Lithos Design had the honour to be among the speakers of a major convention dedicated to stone design. Ninety minutes – far too few – to talk to university professors, institutional bodies and some of the leading Italian stone design companies, but perhaps enough to understand that the approach to design in this sector is not unequivocal in its methods or in its concepts. What clearly emerged from the debate is that, almost in all cases, the input that the marble company demands from design is purely aesthetic and it is mainly aimed at creating added value.
We are without a doubt aware that such design philosophies are successfully implemented by many other companies, and not just in the world of natural stone. But this is an idea which, in our opinion, is not the way to go: for us, design should not mar the worker’s passion for the material he is working to focus on shape alone; on the contrary, it should liaise with the material, to create products that emphasise its characteristics, which are in some cases unique and unrepeatable.
So there is a lack of desire – the result of a clear entrepreneurial awareness and a necessary condition to undertake an authentic route towards industrial product design – to disseminate across the whole company’s activities the concepts of design itself, which should interact and influence the creative, planning, prototyping, implementation and production phases, right up to affecting the commercial and communication phases too. This means a total approach towards design, which currently only very few companies are embracing, and yet which we believe to be the only way forward, allowing a long-term vision and planning opportunities.
Obviously, we don’t want our determination, this unfailing faith in the path we have chosen to take, to be seen as a provocation, but rather as an invitation to many colleagues and industry professionals to investigate this theme further, since the topic is always worth discussing.
Pictures courtesy of Raffaello Galiotto Industrial Design.