As we promised you last July, here is the video of the interview of Daniele Lago conducted by Maurizio Guagnetti, a Radio 105 journalist, while pedaling through the streets of Milan.
The interview is part of the Radiobici project, for which Appartamento Lago is a sponsor, considering the initiatives’ common values, like culture, sharing and sustainability. And given the travel theme that unites them both: one a journey through the outdoor spaces of Italy, the other a journey through the indoor spaces.
Daniele talks about how to grow in times of crisis, designing and producing sense, reopening the question of and rebuilding our Italian identity.
Transcription of Maurizio Guagnetti’s interview of Daniele Lago
Daniele Lago: For me, it is fundamental to produce meaning through every action …
Maurizio Guagnetti: And so, Daniele, what does thinking positively mean, doing business in Italy today?
Daniele Lago: For us, it means putting the individual back in the centre.
M: And when they ask you what Lago does, what is your answer?
D: We are trying to reduce the number of divorces, because we think that design is a kind of tool
for improving our impact on the world, for helping it change for the better. If you are talking to me
about atoms and matter … we are making furnishings, we are making furniture, we are exploring
new design frontiers from every point of view. Lago has always tried to build its path on a concept
of transparency and authenticity. We have tried to find new ways of getting the Lago product seen
and we thought that real homes could be an interesting driver, we invite regular people to open
up their personal living spaces … and they become for a year and a half or two years a kind of
ambassador for the brand in the city. Doing business today, especially in Italy, is a venture with a
capital V. In reality, we are growing even in Italy this year … we are growing probably because we
have focused on a series of factors that have proved to be significant.
M: But is this a kind of growth tied to the fact that luxury is growing in Italy or is it something
D: Beyond the fact that we do not position ourselves so high up, I have always sought out, in
the Lago path and process, an extremely noteworthy value-for-money relationship. I believe that
design needs to be concerned with an always increasing number of people, not an exaggerated
niche. La Dolce Vita is dead! What we need is to reinvent what it means to be Italian and also La
M: And so a new way of being Italian?
D: Absolutely yes. We already have an advantage starting out, since, in my view, we have the
fortune of having a great deal of energy, but we really need to put back into motion and reopen
discussion about a lot of things. It is fundamental that there is support from all of the institutions
and a strong will to establish which three adjectives for Italy are the ones that need to be used to
attract. Planet Italy has great workmanship, a great capacity for craftsmanship … and so we are
creating start-ups that put bits and atoms into agreement, but we are trying to keep the atoms
in mind, since otherwise there is a risk of creating a parallel layer that, I think, would be a losing
venture, since creating a Silicon Valley in Italy is unlikely. In the last ten years, sustainability has
taken on a meaning that is almost always tied to environmental impact. I have a broader vision
of the measure in which the whole theme of sustainability is applied on a wide scale: human,
economic, environmental sustainability cannot however be relegated to a human aspect of the
human. In fifteen years of experience with Lago, or twenty, I have developed the idea that when
you work on projects, if these projects have even just a minimal balance between brain, heart
and instinct, they will work. This means that the human being needs X number of things and
sustainability needs X number of things. I am not enamoured with the cultural foundations of
businesses, because I believe that it is a little bit the PLC that need to be a cultural foundation.
It is useless if on one path I don’t look anything or anyone in the face and on another produce
culture. Returning to the theme of the Expo, I believe that there, too, what is needed is an Expo
more connected to processes than to seeing the statement of returns. I believe that what is
needed is a path where one puts into motion a mechanism of change. I was really struck by a
headline on the cover of the magazine for the Pistoletto foundation, which said: “We need to
change our way of changing”. It is in this nuance that the Expo can become an opportunity or one
among many failures.