It's a known fact that discerning consumers prefer iconic, designer products able to excite. A trend that today involves everything and everyone. Brushing your teeth with Starck, cooking with Urquiola or Konstantin Grcic, wearing Jean Nouvel or Kartell, traveling with Marcel Wanders or Giovannoni represents the latest design act for everyone.
Until yesterday fashion, or rather fashion designer, was a magic word capable of giving added value and consumer-appeal to many different things, luxury or mass-market products, branded beyond belief and, for this reason, entered the international style circuit. Lately, designer seems to replace fashion designer, suddenly become a production magic man, trivial products make-up artist, life coach and guarantee of creativity. Total Design is far beyond chair, table, bed, chandelier, home, objects industrial production framing our lives.
Even devices, smartphones, boats, food, packaging, clothes, accessories, tapestries, light bulbs, toothbrushes, suitcases, printers, loudspeakers, up to sex-toys, suddenly cleared and deserving of prizes such as the Red Dot Award, today appeal to design, the well exhibited and valued original sign, to find new charm and new cultural-commercial pretexts. Today's marketing strategists resort to the archistar griffe to better sell what yesterday had to be above all functional, not necessarily creative.
Alessi is a good example of how the most successful designers creativity has changed the domestic setting by freeing the imagination on the table and into the kitchen, beyond expression. Philippe Starck is perhaps the most prolific and multitasking designer of everyday and extraordinary objects, ranging from toothbrush to millionaire yacht, from juicer to hard disk, from iconic transparent chairs to the first blow-up skydome.
Cars, then, masterpieces of industrial engineering and sociological aesthetics, contemporary mobility's stainless systems, if on the one hand they pursue the search for sustainability, green energy, solar charging, on the other they focus on an increasingly attractive and suited to the new mechanics aspect, inside and out, and here design comes back in play.
From the historic engine kings, Giugiaro, Pininfarina, Bertoni, Scaglione, Scaglietti and De Silva, in recent years we have moved on to fashion kings who have put their style's touch on the most titled details: Armani, Gucci, C.P. Company, Karl Lagerfeld, Paul Smith, Versus Versace, Dolce&Gabbana, Valentino, Missoni, to name a few.
Sometimes union with architects is less happy. However, in new cars mise-en-scène during different Shows it's quite clear how product's marketing combining function, status and technology relies heavily on appearance, emotions and feelings it knows how to convey. Just like a design product. “It's true, today architects design everything - Giulio Cappellini comments in his role as open-minded talent-scout - Good architects are not always good designers and vice versa.
The leap from large to small or from small to large is not always an easy challenge. Surely, working on small objects of common use means letting design enter homes in a quiet way, giving beauty moments to the consumer. Real design is the one destined to last over time, a guarantee of comfort and quality and not an expression of passing fads. Designing and producing real and conscious objects is the duty of today's designer ".
It's Total Design, also rediscovering many everyday products with Italian artisans skill at the service of industry, and the creativity and foresight of our factories, a sector's frame which sees us as leaders in the world. Today, however, it is threatened or joined (depending on the point of view) by design proposals that coming from all over the globe, even from where until yesterday, bamboo baskets were woven or our objects were imitated at a low price and poor quality rather than competing on the world furniture scene. It’s Total Design and it doesn’t end there.