Piero Lissoni: Designer ad Hoc | The Plan
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Piero Lissoni: Designer ad Hoc

Lissoni Associati

Piero Lissoni could be succinctly described as “someone who makes products”. Not to dismiss him, rather to acknowledge, in a period marked by diversion, decoration, re-visitation, his ability to create “real design” that can be industrially produced and sold. Piero Lissoni’s creations are everyday articles we can live with at length, not sensation-seeking gimmicks aiming to raise eyebrows and stand out in design mags rather than be of any real use.
As Lissoni himself says: “At the end of the day, ours is a craft. Full stop! We have to quit seeing ourselves in the priestly robes of the saviours of mankind. I try to “re-humanise” the things I work with, using my own language. There are many types of expression; people are best off discovering and honing their own, expressing themselves as best they can in their own way”.
The linguistic metaphor fits Piero Lissoni’s method to a tee. Many products bear his name. 80%, he admits, have worked, 20% have “sort of made it”. But first and foremost Piero is a designer of companies rather than products. He creates the concept, updates and renews it, co-ordinating the products - his own and those of others - invents the backdrop and the setting. Marketing people would call him a brand creator, a term that many furniture manufacturers still find somewhat mysterious, even forbidding. Lissoni goes out of his way to dialogue with his companies. He shows them respect, and is in turn respected by them. Or rather revered. Everything he says goes. They know he does not act on whim, that everything he proposes is the result of arduous striving after impossible perfection, thought through time and again. For that reason, they also accept the last minute changes to his prototypes. “If it were up to me”, says Piero, “projects would never get finished. They’re the ones who call a halt at a certain point and take things out of my hands!”.
He continues: “Design is flawed today by sensationalism. Companies are used as a means of...

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