LEGENDARY INTERVIEW

Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Alberto Ruben Alerigi ("ARA") 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?

ARA : I graduated in mechanical engineering and worked 40 years in the construction industry for oil and gas plants. My activities have always been related to the layout of plants, definition of matrials and processes, functionalities and safety of installations. In my spare time I helped my wife, who is a plastic artist, in the execution of her works. Thus, I was acquiring knowledge of aesthetics, styles and everything else with her works of art. Since I left my engineering work, I decided to start making my design works, joining my knowledge and experience of materials and manufacturing processes with the knowledge of plastic arts acquired with my wife.

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

ARA : In my youth, I was an enthusiastic for cars design, and so, I was a passionate of Pininfarina cars design, like the Alfa Romeo 1600 Spider “Duetto”, the IKA-Renault Torino of 1966 which was produced in my country, Argentina. I dreamed to became a car designer. There was not a designer career in my country, so, I decided for Mechanical Engineer career. Since I stopped working on oil and gas projects, I have decided to fulfill my desire to be a designer.

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

ARA : Since my youth I always wanted to work with design. No one who is forced to work in a certain profession can be a good professional. You have to love what you do to become a good professional.

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

ARA : Products for home and buildings. There is not a preference.

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

ARA : I'm certainly not a legend designer. Anyway, anyone who wants to be a famous designer must first of all love the profession, have pleasure in doing his job. Technically speaking, you have to be always learning and researching needs and trends of the world around you. Always trying to innovate with style, elegance and maturity, without worrying about being successful. Success is the result of good work.

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

ARA : The way his work arouses a feeling of admiration in people and they begin to desire the product or object created by him.

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

ARA : The simplicity and boldness of design. The way it meets its functionality with aesthetics, elegance, harmony and unicity.

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

ARA : When a design is really a good design, it becomes part of the culture of society, it becomes a classic, able to transmit, over the years, the habits and philosophy of life of the time. We know a little of our ancestors' lives from the objects discovered in archaeological researches, they were made by designers of those times. Therefore, a good design will endure through the ages and will tell a little of our actuality, hence, its value.

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

ARA : It's not only time that I need to fulfill my design desire, it also takes a lot of technology because my dream would be to work on the design of some aerospace project.

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

ARA : Malcolm Sayer, Hans Wegner “Papa Bear”, Battista Pininfarina, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

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

ARA : Malcolm Sayer, Hans Wegner “Papa Bear”, Battista Pininfarina, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Malcolm Sayer: 1967 Jaguar E-Type Roadster, on its release on 15 March 1961, Enzo Ferrari called it "the most beautiful car ever made". It is. Battista Pininfarina, Alfa Romeo 1600 “Duetto”, simple, it says “I’m a sport car”; Hans Wegner “Papa Bear”, he design the most comfortable chair ever made the precisely measured pitch and depth, the studied angles and padding, gives it an absolutely perfect cradle; Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Barcelona chair, actually modern.

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

ARA : Work, study and research

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

ARA : What I did, I start working as Mechanical Engineer at the construction industry.

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

ARA : Design for me is to find the best shape for an object in order to fulfill its functions, so light and simple as possible. Clear, purity, aesthetic with elegance, style and harmony in unicity. Design is not only for the object itself. Design have to think in the entire cycle of life of the object. From the concept to its final disposal, Design has to be worry about the impact for the environment of the new object.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

ARA : Guiding with his creations to a way of life where simplicity, harmony and respect for the environment will be the goal of everyone.

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

ARA : We are trying to develop a way to reuse what we already have in our homes that has been worn out by use or simply want to redecorate. Currently for this, we exchange what we have for something new. With this, we generate a huge amount of waste to be dumped in the environment. Our proposal is to take advantage of these objects and give them a new look, replacing part of them or adding a new element, making them more updated. This way, we would be reducing not only the impact of dumping the old object, but also the impact of producing something totally new.

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

ARA : Capela São José. Religious, architectural, mechanical and electrical knowledge was employed in this project. Also, it was necessary to develop new partners for the work. It really was a complete design project.

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

ARA : In the near future design will tend to a great responsibility to society, because the day after the pandemic crises we will wake up in a new and unknown world. The world will be much different after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be up to the design to adapt the products to the new reality and way of life of society. I hope the design will be ready for that.

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

ARA : There are not a rule. It is a functions of the project being developed. For example, Luminada Project spend 45 days more or less, Capela São José Project spend several months.

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

ARA : Reflecting on the product and its function. In the case of an order we also try to assimilate the way of thinking, the wishes and expectations of the customer. Usually the customer does not have an exact idea of what he is looking for, it is up to the designer to understand the needs and propose alternatives that meet them.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

ARA : Be bold, don't be afraid to fail. Every time we make a mistake we learn something new.

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

ARA : I believe it depends a little on the scenario, the context or the time. However, in most cases the design defines the trends. Society feels more comfortable being guided, you can see the need we have for a leader or opinion makers.

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

ARA : Technology is an aid that allows us to accelerate the creation process and brings us new materials and manufacturing processes, which allows us to innovate with more boldness. Technology is the great ally in reducing deadlines, shortening significantly the development and prototyping process, so we can be more assertive quickly.

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

ARA : We use 2D graphic software for the first sketches. with the defined idea we move to 3D software so we can visualize the whole. In terms of hardware we use a good PC with a graphic motherboard, one 28" display and a 30", a pen tablet and a 24" pen display, one notebook, one photo video machine, scan and so on.

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

ARA : Colors and materials are resources that allow us to explore our inspiration and creativity. The environment is a constraint to which we have to adapt in order to carry out the work with harmony and unicity.

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

ARA : The joy and satisfaction of seeing that someone had the ability to create something so amazing.

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

ARA : Color: blue Place: home Food: Italian food Season: spring Thing and brand: 1967 Jaguar E-Type Roadster

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

ARA : The expression of satisfaction and delight of the people when seeing the work done. This is the sign that we have achieved the goal. Arriving at this moment is what motivates us.

LEGENDARY DESIGNER

ALBERTO ALERIGI IS A 68 YEARS OLD MECHANICAL ENGINEER, HE WAS BORN IN BUENOS AIRES-ARGENTINA AND IS LIVING IN SãO PAULO-BRAZIL SINCE 1975. PROFESSIONALLY WORKS IN THE OIL AND GAS CONSTRUCTIONS INDUSTRY UP TO 2015, ACTUALLY IS RETIRED FROM THIS PROFESSION. THE INTEREST IN ART AND DESIGN WAKE UP WHEN HE MARRIAGE WITH A SCULPTRESS ARTIST IN 1976. HE IS THE ASSISTANT AND THE WORKER OF HIS WIFE ART WORK. IN THIS WAY, HE ACCOMPLISHED HIS WIFE WORKS WITH THE TECHNOLOGY THAT EMPLOYED IN THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY AND, VICE VERSA, HE LOOKS FOR AESTHETICAL CONCEPT WHEN DEVELOPED THE CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS. HE BELIEVES THAT LIFE IS SIMPLE, AND SO, ALL AROUND MUST BE IN ORDER THAT THE HUMANITY CAN EVOLVE IN PEACE AND PROSPERITY.


Luminada Wall Lamp

Luminada Wall Lamp by Alberto Ruben Alerigi

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