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Calvi Brambilla is known for projects with Molteni&C, Olivari, Zanotta, Cassina, among others. This new role—aiding with collections like FLOS Home, FLOS Architectural, FLOS Outdoor, and FLOS Bespoke—marks the first time FLOS has partnered with external product design curators.
Whitewall caught up with Calvi Brambilla to learn more about their new position.
WHITEWALL: You’ve compared your position as Design Curators to that of an art gallery’s curator. What does the role entail?
CALVI BRAMBILLA: Our relationship with Flos goes back to many years ago. Throughout this time, we have mainly dealt with set-ups and shops. With this work we learned to stay behind the scenes so that attention was focused on the individual pieces and the collection as a whole. Now with this new assignment we will continue on the same path, but with greater responsibility. Moreover, Francesco Bonami, in one of his provocative books, states that the art curator must, above all, be a good interior decorator.
WW: As design curators, you’ll be interacting directly with the designers. Can you tell us about the type of relationships you’re expecting to build with the designers?
CB: We ourselves are designers and therefore we speak the same language when we interact with them. We believe this can greatly help the creative process.
WW: You have several years of collaboration experience with Flos. What’s your most memorable project with the brand to date?
CB: The pavilion built for Euroluce 2017. We had to show a large number of impressive new products, most of them above average in size. It came to us spontaneously to imagine an architecture that simulated a sort of museum dedicated to light, so we designed a sequence of very dramatic spaces, focusing on the different heights of the ceilings. Furthermore, we designed walls that looked like concrete deformed in a surreal way whenever there was a need to create a passage. The result was highly appreciated by all the viewers who did not expect such an intense atmosphere within a commercial event.
WW: What are you most looking forward to in this new endeavor?
CB: The challenge, not easy, is to be able to be at least at the level of those who preceded us from 1962 until today. We’ll try to interpret contemporaneity in the best possible way: for example, today the spaces that were traditionally divided between different areas (home and office, indoor and outdoor) become more and more fluid. For this reason, we’ll continue to work on the four product lines – Home, Architectural, Outdoor, Bespoke – creating more and more connections between them.
WW: Can you tell us about any projects you have planned or have already begun since your appointment as Design Curators?
CB: Flos products always have a component of technological and typological innovation: it means that the process that leads to the launch of a new lamp on the market can take up to a few years. On one hand we are already working on visionary projects that will be presented, but not before 2021. On the other hand, we are committed day by day to update the lamps already in the catalog and to expand the product families.