Franco Driusso talks about his Salone del Mobile and his concept of design

Arrital has always distinguished itself as one of the most influential protagonist at Salone del Mobile. For the 2018 edition of Eurocucina, under the guidance of its artistic director, architect Franco Driusso, they presented a completely renewed stand, built on two floors, where they exposed the cutting-edge innovations of their collections.

The exhibition space was also designed and developed by Driusso, and to make it work, Skema collaborated, opting for one of the great innovations among the 2018 resilients, Fit.Lay Tatami Brown, and two wood composite floors, *Lindura Olea Oak and *Nadura Bistro.

On this occasion we had the pleasure of interviewing him and learning more about his experience at Salone and the thinking behind his modus operandi.

For the Arrital exhibition space you have chosen Skema products with a high technological impact, Nadura and Lindura in particular are linked to the wood material but they are above all the result of a great research. Why did your choice fall on these products?

My concept of exhibition environment is deeply linked to the brand's own representation. The company, in these contexts, wants to highlight its mission and its connotative characters, everything exposed speaks to the public in terms of identity and distinction. The selected partners must, therefore, agree on the company's values and the style that represents it, consequently the visual impact of the chosen products must harmonize with the corporate image, but functionality and quality are also fundamental. Salone del Mobile saw 434 thousand visitors, so the materials used had to be up to the required performance. Lindura, Nadura and also the new Fit.Lay were certainly expectations equal.

Practicality and resistance, therefore, combined with the aesthetic aspect and the harmony that must be created. The concept of mood seems very present in your planning. Is that so?

The mood is important for representative purposes, we can say that it is at the base of the exhibition project, because what is brought to the event is a summary of the idea of living that the company has. The composition of the palette is meticulous and refined, for this edition I put the accent on nuances and tonal passages according to a principle of continuity and placing the kitchen at the center of a representation of living, so all the elements harmonized and gave life to the brand's imagery together with it.

During Salone we know that you held a small meeting open to professionals of the sector. What were the main topics you have treated?

One of the themes was the design description of the exhibition space, but we also covered the functional details of the kitchen, starting from the solutions I proposed in Arrital models. We focused on the relationship between interior design and construction, a theme born from the apparent contrast between the tendency of companies to offer very large kitchens and the trend of building houses where spaces are reduced. In truth, the kitchen model that we offer is designed precisely for the new housing concept, where a single large living area serves as a kitchen, living room and entrance, spaces that were once separated. Today the kitchen is the protagonist, it becomes a multifaceted space where to cook, yes, but also to live many other moments: eating, talking, meeting and working.

The design elements to be considered today seem to be linked to the optimization of both the spaces and the functions of the kitchen. What is the role of technology?

Technology helps, it dialogues with the kitchen and allows us to communicate with the kitchen, managing for example with a dedicated app all its functions, from the most classic to which home automation has accustomed us, to the transmission of sound without the use of the speakers but with audio actuators that exploit the propagation of sound through the materials. Or, it allows sanitizing the air and perfuming the rooms. New technology but also new ways to use the modules that compose the kitchen, for example, rethinking the dimensions and getting out of the European standards, taking advantage of American measures but leaving freedom in the choice of appliances and accompanying them to compartments designed to insert useful accessories for the working area. Behind the dishwasher door there is also a section with shelves to store the detergents, near the oven there is the rack for the trays, under the coffee machine there is a removable tray for the pods and all the useful tools.

In short, an aesthetic study with clean and essential lines is hidden the search for functionality and practicality for each activity. Is this the true meaning of Design for you?

Design means project and finds its etymological root from the Latin projecto, throwing over, advancing. To project towards the future and, with great awareness of the present, imagine the solutions that will solve the new needs and present ones. It is a discipline that is based on many other subjects: art, engineering, architecture, anthropology, philosophy, it is a constant interaction that leads to develop a thought in relation to man but that can not be separated from the market, from production needs in terms of feasibility and costs. Design today is also ethical, it has to think about the materials used and their life cycle. The Life Cycle Assessment, the process for identifying the environmental loads associated with a product, has led to a cradle to cradle approach, where the design involves the reuse of materials in the production cycles.

It is with this in mind that for some years you and Arrital have focused your attention on the materials used, for example using Paperstone. What other characteristics should have the new materials ?

With Paperstone, a material patented by an American company consisting of 100% fibers obtained from recycled paper (cardboard, magazines and wrapping paper), combined with water-based resins and cashew shells oils, has been realized a kitchen in practice totally recyclable. As mentioned, the eco-sustainable nature of the matter today is an extremely important topic, but from the materials we also seek an increase in performance. The most current example is the surface of Fenix Ntm, obtained with the help of nanotechnologies and treated with the latest generation thermoplastic resins. Fenix Ntm, which has a total matt effect and allows aesthetically to obtain a pure black shade, thanks to the technologies used is anti-fingerprint, antibacterial and self-repair against scratches and abrasions.

In the final analysis can you tell us how the living space will connote in the future?

Technology and functionality of the spaces will be very present themes, but also the mood we talked about before will certainly be an important element. The need for coordination between the elements is an awareness inherent in the customer, this also thanks to the fact that people access information more easily and, before moving on to the actual project, they inform and find inspiration in magazines, web and social, which allow you to get closer to a well-defined imaginary. All this will lead to a greater search for harmony, because when the elements are in harmony with each other, the environment conveys a feeling of well-being.

* ATTENTION: from 2019 Lindura and Nadura change their names to Lumbertech and Evertech respectively.

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