LAETITIA DE ALLEGRI — Interview
Laetitia De Allegri, Swiss industrial designer based in London.
Hello Laetitia, how are you?
Am good thanks, you?
Fine thanks! Can you introduce yourself?
I am a Swiss product and furniture designer based in London. Along this I also work as a colour consultant and develop patterns mainly within the textiles industry. I studied industrial design at Ecal before moving to London in April 2005 where I worked for various studios like Barber & Osgerby, Alexander Taylor, Tom Dixon, MAP Project Office and Marc Newson.
Since 2013 I pursue my own work and develop different collaborations such as with de Allegri/Felkamp and more recently a new one with Matteo Fogale with whom we collaborate on diverse and future projects. This year I also started giving lectures and workshops, which is fun.
Where does your interest in design come from?
I like the idea of bringing solutions to a need, or a reflection of our living. In a more simple way, what a joy to make someone happy, smile, from something you designed. On top of that I enjoy making things.
You won a Wallpaper Design Award with the work you did with Matteo Fogale. Can you tell us more about your collaboration?
Yes we are very happy about this. This is an important collection for us, our first project in collaboration. Matteo and I met five years ago whilst working together at BarberOsgerby. In the last 2 years, both of us were working independently, Matteo invited me to do something for the London Design Festival 2014, it was very spontaneous and last minute plan but it worked very well and we found a good balance and common interest. We are carrying working together.
With -ISH it was important to show that ‘recycling’ and ‘quality’ can go well together and that we need to become aware of the life of products and post-industrial waste materials. We are interested to work with materials that help preserve our environment with elegance and cleverness. Our challenge is to design furniture and accessories around those materials trying to push the boundaries of each of them. We also love the poetic aspect that is behind these materials and their traditional source of inspiration.
What are the key features of your design?
Elegant and functional. Always trying to add/bring something new and interesting, like a material, combination of techniques, mix of industrial and craft.
What’s the idea behind the « Untitled °02 » project?
Untitled Nº02 is the brother (ceramic version) of the Untitled Nº01, which was designed for the exhibition « No Function No Sense » at Depot Basel. A sculpture that can also be functional : used as a magazine rack. Its shape was inspired by the constant movement in life. The roller coaster of up and down, like waves never still, the point is to keep moving.
Do you follow a manifesto in your approach of design?
Yes and no. The goal is to produce design which are simple, clever and still beautiful. I consider everything I do: from use, quality, aesthetic to fine details. I make sure to design things I could see myself having or using. Sometimes we come up with ideas that seem great but I just told myself hold on, would I really have/use this? I think it is an important question to ask yourself.
Is there any designer you appreciate a lot?
The usual question… yes of course, many! Some examples: Enzo Mari, Ettore Sottsass, Eams, Manuri, Nogushi…
Which books are on your bedside table?
« Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage » by Haruki Murakami. Recently reread « Interaction of colours » by Josef Albers. I often read roman it is nice to get out of the design world sometimes.
The last word…
Speak soon & thank you for the interview.
Interview : Dennis Moya & Tiffany Bähler — 02.15
Images ©Laetitia De Allegri, portrait and -ISH collection by ©Olivia Estebanez.