Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Nicoletta Santini ("NS") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?

NS : During my last year of the classical high-school I discovered my interest for the design world. I was researching about its origins when I realize that I would have liked to become a designer of the future. The next year I started my studies of Interior Design at the European Institute of Design in Milan, a three years course in which I had the opportunity to learn different sectors of the design and to improve my software and creative skills. After the unforgettable exchange program at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam and the graduation project in yacht design, in the July 2015 I concluded my studies at IED Milan and, finally, my passion become my job.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?

NS : I have always considered designers as supporters of the world progress and the idea of be potentially part of this change motived me to become a designer.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?

NS : I was lucky to choose this amazing profession thanks to my open-minded family which permits me to follow my dreams.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?

NS : My passion for the design world is wide but I focused my work on the interior and exhibition fields. I wish to take part soon of a furniture design process.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?

NS : I have never considered myself a legend, I am still a young designer and I need to improve my skills and experience too. Anyway, I suggest young designers to be adaptable specialists, possessing the attitude and confidence to move out from their comfort zones and work with whatever method and prototyping tools are appropriate to communicate and realize their ideas.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?

NS : While a good designer is able to satisfy the client's following the traditional design rules, a great designer is able to predict the future desires, to create new trends and develop innovative ideas using new materials and methods, like a pioneer.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?

NS : The difference between a good design and a really good one is the impact it has not only for the present but also for the future market.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?

NS : The value of good design is characterized by ethic and moral function in addition to the traditional aspect of a well-done design like the functionality and the aesthetics. Because the good design takes care to its impact on the future and the society, all the companies and the buyers should prefer this type of production.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?

NS : If I had time I would like to design a new concept yacht and I would like to try a collaboration with an Italian yacht producer company.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?

NS : My dream project I still haven't time to dedicate myself is my future house, which I would like to design and realize by my own with all my creativity and fantasy.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?

NS : The constant research of uniqueness is the fundamental ingredient of design process ti create always something "out of the box".

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?

NS : I have always admired the creations and methods of legendary designers such as Bruno Munari, Achille Castiglioni, Charles Eames and Patricia Urquiola.

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?

NS : It is really difficult to name a few because I should mention icon designs such as innovative and unknown creations. What associates them is their combination between beauty, function and innovation.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?

NS : The project I developed for my thesis called "Stream", a 65 mt superyacht where sustainability, elegance and research were melt to satisfy to needs of an hypothetical foreign client.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?

NS : The research of new technics and of sustainable materials in addition to the study of the design legends and history are fundamental to become everyday better designers.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?

NS : To satisfy my instinctive sense of duty, I am quite sure I would have tried to become a doctor or an engineer, an active actress for the common progress.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?

NS : The perfect union between functionality and aesthetic define the term "design".

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?

NS : My family and in particular my mother have always supported my passion for design. In addiction I have the big fortune to have lots of friends with the same interest of mine for design so I have also their helps.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

NS : The education was fundamental for my professional development such as my constance and passion.

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?

NS : The main obstacle was my young age which something made me appear wiseacre or incompetent by clients and suppliers older than me. My perseverance and kindness fortunately triumphed always.

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?

NS : Simplicity and clearness permit the designer to make his works understandable and valuable by the public but he should never forget to create a bit of suspension to let the clients desire their creations.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?

NS : My next project is a line of furniture made by sustainable materials, a complete new design for my carrier.

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?

NS : The creation of innovative and inspirational projects for young designers is my real ultimate goal.

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?

NS : Continuity and innovation.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

NS : Solving everyday issues each design help to create a better society.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?

NS : I am actually working on some exciting interior projects in collaboration with an architecture studio near Milan.

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?

NS : The collaboration with companies to create their desired exhibition stand give me the most satisfaction.

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?

NS : The increase of sustainable materials and green energy to produce our designs.

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?

NS : I think that the design field is headed to years in which assembly production will be substitute with custom made design.

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?

NS : It depends on the the type of design project we are referirng to. It can take from one month to one year.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?

NS : I start from the briefing and the concept.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

NS : Never aesthetic without function.

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?

NS : Design is the origin of trends, or it should be.

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?

NS : Fondamental. After the first sketches I develop all my projects using softwares for modelling, rendering and presenting my designs.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?

NS : 3Ds Max plugin VRay Autocad Illustrator Photoshop

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?

NS : After the creation of the concept, the designers should consider and balance these three elements to proceed with their creations.

DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?

NS : I wish people to be curious and interessant about the stories behind my creations. All my designs have ones.

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?

NS : After the first attraction, several questions come up in my mind and I usually try to answer to all of them and to understand completely the creation I have in front of me.

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?

NS : I have always believed in co-design because two creative and collaborative minds are better than ones but coordination and common professional values are fundamental to do so.

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?

NS : More experienced professionists than me with whom I collaborated with during the latest years.

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?

NS : "Da cosa nasce cosa" of Bruno Munari was the first book I read about design and the one which influenced me so much that I decided to become a designer.

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?

NS : I am constantly working on my skill and I will always need to improve them.

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?

NS : If I had this chance, I would love to meet and talk with Bruno Munari.

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?

NS : I feel honoured by this recognition but my designs never had awards like the main goal.

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?

NS : Red, Milan, pizza, spring, my laptop and Armani.

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?

NS : The days in which I create new concepts or some of projects are realised are the motivation of my entire working life because these days give me the energy and passion to keep designing even during bad times.

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?

NS : I have always been a creative person. Since I was a child, I spent my free time drawing and creating unusual prototypes but I have never consider myself a great design, just a good ones.

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?

NS : I really hope future generations will change our approach to lifestyle and consumption, we really need to respect more our planet and our cultures.

DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?

NS : Keep your habits simple and your minds opened and curious. In this way you will be creative and wise for years.



Hello Future Exhibition Stand

Hello Future Exhibition Stand by Nicoletta Santini

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