An interview with Carlo Cretella, the Redesigner of the new LAGO WELCOME in Verona

A few months ago, at the Salone del Mobile in Milan, we presented LAGO Interior Life, the guiding philosophy inspiring our work, which we want to generate empathy between our interior lives and the interior spaces we live in. It is a simple equation: ‘If you spend your time in quality spaces, your quality of life will also be improved’.

We transferred this approach to the world of tourism, because we believe that design can improve life even in spaces where people are just passing through, like hotels and B&Bs. And so LAGO WELCOME was born, an initiative addressed to people who want to invest in hospitality facilities and believe in the unique experiences that can be generated by interior design.

After inaugurating the first LAGO WELCOME in France, the Lion Blanc in Saint Tropez, we opened the first Italian LAGO WELCOME, B&B design Verona.

We asked architect Carlo Cretella, the LAGO REDESIGNER who designed the interiors, to talk with us about the project.

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An interview with Giorgio Fipaldini, creator of ‘open | MORE THAN BOOKS’

Exactly one year ago in Milan, we inaugurated ‘OPEN | more than books, an innovative space designed to be not only a place for buying books and furniture but also a site of sociality, sharing and openness..

We have always believed in relationships and in design that favours them. This is why we participated in the creation of this multifunction space, where the boundaries are erased and where you can do a bit of everything: meet, be alone, work, chat, eat and buy.

For the first anniversary, we interviewed our partner Giorgio Fipaldini, the creator and CEO of OPEN.

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Goodbye Bernardo Secchi, contemporary urban planner

This post is dedicated to Bernardo Secchi, Professor of Urban Planning at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia (IUAV), who just passed away.

We met him a few years ago at the Appartamento Milan for one of the events in the ‘Dialoghi’ series.  He talked to us about his projects, including ‘Le Grand Paris’, explaining how design and urban planning are more similar than one might think. Both disciplines, according to Secchi, need to study how people move in space and pursue the goal of improving lives through design projects.

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LAGO STUDIO workshop with designers from Bucks University

Ten days ago, we welcomed a group of designers from Bucks University, who came to participate in the 2014 LAGO STUDIO workshop. This is the sixth year that Professor Lynn has brought her students to Italy to design side-by-side with the LAGO design team.

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This year’s workshop brief was ‘What can we bring to the Lago Interior Life philosophy …?’ The young designers were asked to look beyond the product and focus on the people who would use it and on the interactions that design can generate.

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For ten days, the Bucks students worked at the LAGO Community Table that we set up for the workshop in the LAGO FABBRICA showroom The table, literally conceived for promoting sharing, dialogue and interaction, acted as a frame for the creative dynamics of the LAGO STUDIO workshop.

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To welcome the designers, we prepared an ethnic dinner with dishes as varied as the cultures they come from. In the kitchen, the designers also shared their experiences, culture and original way of seeing and interpreting things

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And this is the added value LAGO STUDIO brings to the company: encounters between cultures and people with the common goal of designing interiors that improve people’s lives. Tons of interesting ideas came out of the workshop and the results are unquestionably positive. LAGO STUDIO is an experience that enriches the designers and each and every one of us! 

Best of luck, guys and see you next year, Professor Lynn!

 

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Six years of LAGO STUDIO with Bucks University. Watch our video interview with Lynn Jones, who talks about how the collaboration with LAGO got started.

 

 

 

 

Interview with Harry Owen, designer of the Joynt chair

Born on the Isle of Wight, Harry Owen is the designer of the Joynt chair, which won an Honourable Mention at Compasso d’Oro this year. It is an innovative, surprising chair that will treat you to an unexpected experience.

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Harry, your chair just won a honorable mention for Compasso d’Oro this year…how do you feel about it?

It’s a great privilege for me to see Joynt recognized alongside some of the industries leading projects. My thanks go to Lago Studio for the opportunity they provide for young designers, and also to my tutors at Bucks New University for their support whilst developing the project.

Harry, tell us something more about the concept of the Joynt chair. How did you come up with the idea of a joynt?

Initially the idea developed whilst exploring a traditional chair making process called steam bending, where strips of wood are heated using a steam box. The applied heat and moisture allows the timber to become flexible and bend to a specific shape. However that process is both costly and time consuming, and I wanted to explore other opportunities to bend a timber frame and provide comfort. The key feature of the Joynt chair is the flexible rubber in the backrest, which is a commonly used component from the automotive industry.

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Which needs does the Joynt chair solve?

Naturally people are always moving, and the flexible back rest provides movement and support in a similar way to a complex office chair. Ideally it can be used in locations ranging from public spaces and offices, to schools and waiting rooms. I still have a couple of the early prototypes around my desk at home.

How important is the ergonomics when designing a chair?

Ergonomics and the understanding of interaction among the user is essential when designing anything. A number of prototypes early in the development allowed us to determine comfort before deciding details of how we wanted it to look. The coloured backrest is intended to indicate to the user that something is going to happen, but many people still seem surprised when they first sit down.

Do you think the ergonomics is an essentials or a plus today?

I think many factors including ergonomics are essential and should influence the development of a product. Costs, materials, proportions and forms are perhaps equally important. I think what we tried to do with the Joynt chair however was to make something innovative, playful, and of course comfortable.

Your chair in three words?

Innovative. Fun. Flexible.

Compasso d’Oro 2014: honourable mentions for Appartamento LAGO and the Joynt chair

At the 23rd Compasso d’Oro, LAGO received two Honourable Mentions: the Joynt chair for product design and Appartamento LAGO in the project category.

Two recognitions that touch two important areas for LAGO: Lagostudio and Appartamento LAGO.

The Joynt chair, designed by young designer Harry Owen, emerged from Lagostudio, the LAGO creative workshop where each year students from the world’s best design schools are invited to participate

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The innovative aspect of this design lies in the flexibility of the seat back. At first look, the Joynt chair appears to have an ergonomically unnatural slant but, thanks to the rubber joint integrated into its wooden structure, in reality it follows the shape of the body. The seat back flexes to support the spine and is extremely comfortable.

The Appartamento LAGO project instead redefines and reinvents spaces reserved for contact between company, consumer and product. It is an entirely new living space and cultural experiment: a real flat, with real residents and entirely furnished with LAGO products, the owner of which, a design lover, opens the doors to visitors, organising and hosting cultural events, talks and exhibitions in the flat itself.

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Inaugurated in Milan in 2009, for the Salone del Mobile, the Appartamento LAGO project is proof that design today is no longer simply physical, but instead goes beyond the object: the energy, relationships and situations generated between people in the Appartamento can never be replicated anywhere else in the same way.

 

LAGO on view in Rome as an example of sustainability

A few months ago, the photographer Pippo Onorati stopped by LAGO because he wanted to photograph our company and present the photos in ‘Cambiamo clima! Gli eroi della terra‘, an exhibition dedicated to showing how ordinary people can work in a creative, innovative and socially useful way while respecting the environment around them.

Pippo Onorati is a Roman photographer, designer, director and journalist. Over the course of his professional career, he has worked with Oliviero Toscani and realised major photographic and communications projects for celebrities, publishers and big companies.

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The exhibition, which will open at MAXXI, then travel to Gianicolo and finally, from 6 June, be on permanent display at the Centro Elsa Morante, Rome, mixes the visions of professional photographers like Gianni Berengo Gardin and Francesco Zizola with those of photographers from Shoot4Change, a not-for-profit volunteer organisation dedicated to humanitarian photography.

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LAGO was chosen by Pippo Onorati for its philosophy, centred on the individual, and its search for a kind of sustainability that is not just environmental but also social. The LAGO FABBRICA (Lago Factory) is evidence of both, built in glass and wood and designed so that sunsets permeate the workspaces, as is Lean Production, which is focused on minimising waste, and projects like ‘An evolved industrial zone’ by Anna Scalfi Eghenter, which aim at revitalising the territory, and Art Waiting Room, a project that brings the value of art to time spent waiting.

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Pippo took the photos for this post while he was visiting the company. We are delighted to have been chosen, understood and expressed from an outsider’s view. It is confirmation that when design tries to transmit change, it often succeeds.

Download the exhibition catalogue.

LAGO INSIDE @ Nike We Own The Night

On Friday, 30 May, 7,500 women and girls will invade the streets of Milan for an after-dark 10k run organised by Nike. “We Own The Night” is a women’s race created by Nike to promote safety in the city for female runners all over the world.

The Milan race will take up the baton passed on by London, the first city in this series of runs, which will then continue in Berlin, Amsterdam and Paris. Each “We Own the Night” event reflects the energy, style and culture of its host city, so Milan will be mixing sports, music and design.

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We couldn’t not participate in the design capital with our project LAGO INSIDE, which aims to improve spaces and places with Lago design. For this event, we are setting up the Lounge Nike and the Village with colourful, unexpected seating, like the Lastika and Huggy armchairs and Air sofas.

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In the weeks leading up to the race, we hosted a few of our friends from Nike for training and yoga sessions led by Master Trainer Sayonara Motta in Appartamento LAGO Brera.

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The LAGO runners are ready too! We just received the complete kit for the race, which will start at Piazza Gae Aulenti then pass through Arena Civica, Parco Sempione, Piazza del Duomo and the Indro Montanelli public gardens to arrive back at Piazza Gae Aulenti.

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The race will start at 9.30 p.m. We will be following the race up close, posting photos and videos of the event on our social network pages: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Stay tuned!

 

Interview with Luca de Bona, designer of the Dangla chair

Today we meet Luca de Bona, designer of the Dangla chair. Luca took part in the 2010 edition of  LAGO STUDIO and he designed a chair that likes its clothes to fit like a glove, perfect for the living room and the kitchen. Enjoy!

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What was the guiding concept for the design of Dangla?

I wanted a feminine chair: an elegant body to be dressed and undressed in a single gesture, as well as sturdy and cradling. But I also wanted a chair that could adapt to various contexts and times, not one that follows trends. I thought that designing a chair that meets all of my personal and aesthetic needs (including swinging) would make Dangla something that everyone could find one or more affinities with.

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Why did you decide to design specifically a chair?

In the history of furnishing, there have always been chairs. And, in a certain way, the chair has reflected the styles and uses of every age in its forms. More than any other piece of furniture, it has the task of being both aesthetically pleasing and comfortable. Designing this type of chair is a kind of challenge: I wanted to show how it is still possible to invent a chair that has never existed before and offer a timeless solution, a chair that is a little bit magical, one that changes its appearance with a single gesture and its shape with the weight of the body.

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The Dangla chair can be customised with three different fabrics. How important is it today to give the consumer the opportunity to create a personal design?

Today, people’s ways of living, travelling and working follow rhythms and habits that are increasingly heterogeneous and dynamic. This makes their taste more broad, aware and intermittent. They know design, but they want it to be flexibly adaptable to their own needs and environment. In this period of transformations, even the hierarchies of living and work space are undergoing unimaginable revolutions. Dangla perfectly satisfies its practical and ergonomic role, but thanks to its sinuous silhouette, it can also be either elegantly or casually ‘dressed’, becoming a chair for the kitchen, the living room or the office.

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Which Dangla would you choose?

I live in a small house, with spaces distributed around a living area that functions are a place for eating, working, relaxing and getting together with friends. Around the big table, which acts as a hub for all of the main activities in my home, I would like six Dangla chairs, each dressed in a different way: fabric, leather, smooth, textured, with a zip and exposed stitching, so that each person can instinctively choose where to sit.

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What do you think the fabric for the new millennium will be?

I imagine it will be a synthetic fabric, produced by a loom that combines tradition and cutting-edge technology: an ecological use of natural fibres interwoven with innovative, sustainable materials that can warm, illuminate and change colour but that is also easy for anyone to work with, embroider and customise according to their personal style and taste. We are projected towards the future, and this lets us achieve exceptional goals, but we are also human beings with ancestral sensory requirements to satisfy, as well as a congenital need to leave a trace through marks and decoration.

For more info about LAGO STUDIO and to apply for next workshop: http://lagostudio.com/. The deadline to apply for the second workshop is 25th May.