Design and art are synonymous to Italy. This culture rich nation in Europe has years of history safely treasured in their buildings, paintings and furniture. Italian architect Luigi Caccia once said, “Quite simply, we are the best. We have more imagination, more culture, and are better mediators between the past and the future.” Italian art, fashion, food and architecture, resonates clearly with this statement and thus justify the common benchmark of any good design as “Made in Italy.” As connoisseurs of remarkable art and architecture, we at Cindrebay School of Fashion and Interior Design, Nagpur, hosted the first ever workshop of it’s kind in Nagpur, Void 11 – Italian Furniture Design. We invited renowned Architect Andrea Randon, all the way from Italy to talk to our students about their country’s distinctive design style and what makes it so great.

The talk started with Ar. Andrea giving a brief introduction to Italy and the factors which govern their architecture and interiors. In his words, “Italy was the centre piece of European trade and society and thus a lot of cultural exchanges took place here, especially in cities like Venice and Florence which became the hub of Renaissance movement. Italy saw the birth of eternal artists like Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Botticelli, Donatello etc. and idolized them, which created a love for design, so deeply ingrained and inherent in every child in Italy. Not just in art and architecture, Italy excels in designing clothes, fabrics, products, industrial design, user experience design, interiors and food. We treat design as a part and parcel of life, and find it impossible to live without it. I am lucky to have been born in Italy.”

After wrapping up a history and introduction in brief, Ar. Randon talked about how Italians have translated the past into the future using Vespa’s example. He stressed that there is no alternative to Italian design, and elaborated how they persevered to come up with cheaper design solutions to help them overcome lower economy than other European countries, while still incorporating beauty in their design approach. A product doesn’t just have to solve all your problems while negating any which may arise in future, but it also has to appeal to your emotional side and look and feel beautiful. He established this as the basis to tackle any design, and urged students to change the way they see everything. The way one can observe traces of history and the stories of the rise and fall of all empires and dynasties in Italy, and the repercussions of the World War 2, is how one can travel back in time and learn from their triumphs and flaws. Similarly, budding designers should give importance to the past and hold it in front of them so as not to repeat prior follies and intelligently deal with problems yet unsolved.

Ar. Andrea Randon disclosed a lot of tools and methods to approach a design and also shed light on how not to repeat design outputs in various projects. He urged students to not restrict themselves to the computer and sketch their solutions before moving on to CAD. He encouraged students to draw inspiration from history, art and nature and motivated them to start thinking in three dimensions rather than in two. He chuckled saying, “Seeing or drawing a project in 2D, is like seeing only 1/4th part of the story. What about the Z direction? What about verticality? What about the way humans see? What about our vision? Thinking in 3D is key to coming up with a good overall design.”

Students posed several questions to him, which he answered patiently and expertly guided others to understand what he meant. As a parting advice to students and budding designers, this is what he had to say, “Design should be tailor made for each and everyone, and should never get repeated. Do not get entangled in one design trend, or become a slave to your signature style. Approach every design as new and you will discover infinite possibilites.”
We hope that Ar. Andrea Randon charmed all our guests as much as he charmed us, while making the experience a very fun and knowledgeable one. We profusely thank him for taking out the time to talk to our students and feel honored and humbled to have been able to host him.

For more such workshops and events, visit Cindrebay School of Fashion and Interior Design, Nagpur, every week. For course details and registration information, log on to cindrebaynagpur.com.