Name: Francesco Messori
Position within company: Design Director, Founder, Partner
. Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
I’ve studied Architecture in Venice in the 80’s, and after that I worked in the design scene in Milano during the 90’s. In that period I worked with Andrea Branzi, Ettore Sottsass, Aldo Cibic, and Paola Navone, and did many research and teaching activities in schools like Domus Academy, and Politecnico of Milano. In the 2000’s I moved to Amsterdam and worked as Art Director in interior design, with a deep relation with Marcel Wanders; in 2004 I co-founded D/Dock.
. How would you describe your personal design style?
I believe in the fact that Design has the power to change the behaviour of people. I believe hat design has a meaning. I believe in aesthetic beauty as the shortest way to reach the people. I believe that good design is the result of mastery and empathy. I believe that design is one of the fundamental cornerstones of a civilisation, like arts and science.
. Where does your design inspiration come from?
From Art, literature, Politics, memory,music other people and life.
. In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
Design is becoming “personal” in the sense of what happened to “Personal Computers”, or we could say mobile design? Design is taking his independence from Industry, and uses new technologies like 3D print and Internet to develop. Is becoming shared culture, where is possible to hack in the process of doing it, and doesn’t matter if is made by primitive processes or very sophisticated ones. The use of systems like Arduino, are opening the way to personally design objects which perform and interact. The scenario is an environment of artefacts mass produced and affordable, and unique, local objects, probably modified mass products, which are also affordable. In this scenario, design is moving more and more towards aesthetic values which include technology and artificial intelligence. Also the typologies of the artefacts are blurring, is becoming clear that has no sense any more to call a chair, or a table as definite objects, because they have for us many new meanings.
. Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2016 and beyond.
Artesanal, Hybrid, 3D printed, Eclectic, Art piece
. If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design, what would it be?
See the invisible layers behind the physical form: culture, rituals, emotions, senses, spirituality and magic, because those elements are the most powerful. Design with empathy and master the tools you use. Be simple.
. How important are The International Hotel and Property Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
Hotel design is one of the most complete experience for a designer, because it combines very complex and sophisticated knowledges and protocols together with the aesthetic power to drive emotions and pleasure in the people. Hotel design is a combination of luxury, emotions, surprise, smoothness, and a recognition on this field is for us the most valuable proof of our professionally and achievements as designers.
. What projects are you currently working on?
. What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
Circular School, Lo-bal village, Ethical Hospitality : 3 very innovative adventures
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession?
My toy soldiers.
Your favourite holiday destination?
My House in Marche Italy
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
Hotel Caesar Augustus Capri/ Osteria La Francescana Modena / Gramercy Tavern NY
Your favourite book / film / song?
War&Peace / Amarcord / Bach: Der Kunst der Fuge
Your favourite food and drink?
Tortelli di zucca, Gin & Tonic
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Sculpting my toy soldiers , listening to music, looking outside (when I’m in my house in Italy), reading.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
Anything else interesting?
I would like to end up my life finding myself back as I was when I was I child, it would be the perfect development of my life.