CLAUDIA OVAN: Studio 4P1B, or Simone Fanciullacci and Antonio de Marco, your collaboration with Chairs & More dates back to a couple of years ago: how did you met and chose?
4P1B DESIGN STUDIO: It all started with an acquaintance shared with Marco Roseano, Chairs & More’s ceo. We knew that the company was growing and wanted to collaborate with new designers. We met and immediately knew that we were speaking the same language and that we will have had fun together.
CO: What drives your work?
4P1B: First of all curiosity, we like to ask questions but also ask ouselves about the choices we make.
Understand the problem and the context in which you’re working at is the first step to find a new point of view, for changing perspective.
The method, we leave room for creativity but following a path that helps us to better address our energies.
Finally the fun, we are very demanding with ourselves but we also want this work to remain a space to feel good.
CO: A definition of design that fits on you?
4P1B: This is a tough question. It is a job that puts you in the middle between the wishes of companies, those of users and yours. We seek to transform this stress into projects, then in objects. We hope that this transformation is not an end in itself but it contains an idea that does not leave you indifferent, that tears a smile or a sigh of satisfaction.
CO: How much do you think one can be free to design nowadays? Are there any context that allow more freedom?
4P1B: Compared to a few decades ago, there are probably new constraints that have come to create a better awareness among consumers that forces you to be more careful with the choices you make in the design phase. Of course our work will change if we work for large retailers or for an art gallery, there are areas that naturally allow greater freedom to experiment.
CO: Which materials give you greater design flexibility, where comfort and functionality are essential characteristics?
4P1B: We choose the material that we consider best suited to the project that we are developing. It may be interesting to use a so unexpected material or experiment to see if you encounter new language. With Moyo chair for example we wanted to convey some idea of abundance and softness using the metal pipe, which in itself may seem cold.
CO: Is it possible to make design democratic? If so, how?
4P1B: It depends what you mean by democratic, some companies are turning specifically to the luxury world, but many others offer great quality products, manufactured in countries where labor is NOT underpaid, at affordable prices. There is a proverb that says ‘who spends more spends less’ and hides a beautiful truth, we should think more about the value of what we buy.
CO: Is there a common thread that unites the collections that you have designed for Chairs & More with other products carrying your signature?
4P1B: We would always like our objects to be able to create a relationship of affection with the people using them. Objects that in addition to doing their work can excite, enriching the everyday life in which they are located.
CO: What do you see in the near future of your business?
4P1B: This job is like that of a marathon runner, every year it grows a bit and we’re delighted that more and more companies want to work with us. I do not think it is possible to make predictions but we’re sure there will be challenges and stimuli, the great thing about this job is that you never get bored.