Designer in Profile: James Magni- President of Magni Design

Name: James Magni

Company: Magni Interior Design Corp and Magni Home Collection.

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Position within company: President


. Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
In 1980, I received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture. But my love of residential design was really born when i took a job with the Dallas firm, HMBH Architects. In 1989, I established my Los Angeles-based company, Magni Design, and I now have the privilege of working with clients from around the world. I created Magni Home Collection in 1996 because I wasn’t finding the high-quality, unique pieces I needed for my projects. It began as just a few pieces and has grown into a sculptural and contemporary collection of pieces.

. How would you describe your personal interior design style?
My signature aesthetic is clean modern elegance against strong architectural backgrounds – seemingly simple, but upon closer examination, rich with luxurious detail, texture and personality.

. Where does your design inspiration come from?
Travel, particularly to exotic places. Some of my favorite are Marrakesh, Italy (always), and places by the sea, especially Bora Bora. Meditation and spiritual work always help me to find inspiration within. I also love to interact with people and seeing all the different points of view and senses of style is a constant inspiration.

. In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
We’re in a very computerized era, from the programs we use to execute drawings to the development of “smart houses.” So, everything from the design to the operation of the home is influenced by technology. In an aesthetic sense, technology has allowed an unprecedented level of individual expressionism. Artistic license is freer than it has ever been before. And social media gives so many opportunities for people to showcase their individuality. I believe design will become increasingly customized and tailored to each person.

. Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2015 and beyond.
1) The physical location or context of the home is always one of my biggest concept drivers.

2) Understanding the architectural style of the house to create ultimate cohesion.
3) Global inclusion. Bringing the increasingly connected world in and infusing other cultures into our design.
4) Very neutral backgrounds and furnishings, allowing either views or art collections to take center stage.
5) Ecologically responsible decisions when designing, including careful consideration of lighting, water features, air flow, etc. and using recyclable materials.

. If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to product design, what would it be?
Express yourself from a completely artistic point of view and let function be secondary. It’s the best way to break out of the mould.

. How important are The International Product Design Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?

Because the International Product Design Awards are voted on by design professionals as well as the general public, the award means more. It is recognition not just from my peers, but from the true judges of my work – my potential clients.

. What projects are you currently working on?
Magni Design has about 10 projects currently on the boards, ranging from a 5,000 square foot Neutra-designed residence to a 25,000 square foot home for tech clients in the Silicon Valley.

. What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
To continue to develop new, innovative products for the Magni Home Collection, as well as design and craft each of our residential projects at such a high level that they are all published and recognized internationally.

. Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession?
1960s era cufflinks, left to me by my father

Your favourite holiday destination?
Bora Bora

Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
The San Pietro Hotel in Positano, Italy

Your favourite book / film / song?
Book: “You Are a God, Get Over It” by Story Waters
Film and Song: “The Mission” movie and soundtrack

Your favourite food and drink?
My mom’s Italian home-cooking and a great glass of Italian red wine

Your favourite way to spend an afternoon? (in no more than 25 words)
On a secluded beach, meditating and listening to inspirational music

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
A real estate developer

Anything else interesting?
I have a dual citizenship in Italy and the U.S. and so most of my thoughts are filtered through the lens of Italy.