Our interviews with designers, architects, builders, producers and professionals from the world of international design.

Tag Archive for: Interviews

Ottaviano Borgonovo Tells Us about The Art of Creating Iconic Spaces with a Sustainable Vision

At the heart of MisuraEmme lie values of commitment, dedication, and cooperation, led by Ottaviano Borgonovo, the leader and third generation of the company. This legacy is deeply influenced by Ottaviano’s revered mother, Tiziana Mascheroni, who passed away in 1991, and whose testament can be seen at the entrance of the company’s headquarters in Mariano Comense, in the province of Como, Northern Italy.

MisuraEmme places primary importance on the care and conservation of our planet. A pioneer in environmental responsibility, the company has obtained the prestigious Aquaver certificate as the first to invest in water-based painting, exemplified by the revered 0001 mark from ANVER.

Renowned for product customisation, meticulous attention to detail, and the use of high-quality materials, MisuraEmme stands out as a pioneer in the high-end market, driven by its flagship product, the “Palo Alto” night system.

Ottaviano is determined about the future: to continue with steadfastness, supporting the family business with unwavering commitment and passion. The legacy forged by MisuraEmme is a testament to its authoritative position in the industry, built on a foundation of respect, expertise, and enthusiasm.

Thanks to Lucrezia Radice for her extraordinary collaboration! 😊

Ambra Vismara’s passion unveils the soul of a family-owned legacy, embracing beauty, progress, and a visionary future.

Respect, wellbeing, and innovation stand as the cornerstone values guiding Vismara Design, a distinguished company nestled in Seveso, within the northern Italian province of Monza Brianza.

Ambra Vismara, Export Manager and a pivotal force in the third generation of this family-owned enterprise, escorts us through the rich tapestry of the company’s history.

For Ambra, the pursuit of beauty has always been an intrinsic part of her identity, making her a natural fit for a career within this realm where she radiates energy and passion.

Amidst the accomplishments already achieved, Vismara Design is set on reaching new milestones. The imminent inauguration of an expansive production plant and showroom, slated for completion by the close of 2024, is a testament to the company’s commitment to continual growth and advancement.

This strategic expansion is poised to enable concurrent work on multiple projects, ultimately optimizing processing times. The envisioned developments not only underscore Vismara Design’s authority and expertise but also signify a pledge to fostering an environment where innovation thrives, setting the stage for an even more remarkable future.

Special thanks to Giada Vismara for her amazing support!😊

Pietro Maggi introduces us to the brand where you can rest.

Will to grow more and more, without ever forgetting its origins, to which it owes the characteristics that make it unique: Sales Manager Pietro Maggi tells us about the Amura brand, welcoming us inside the showroom in the centre of Milan, Italy.

As soon as you enter you can feel a warm atmosphere. Colours and lines evoke the special land of the Murgia, in Apulia, southern Italy, from which the name and history of this company are derived.

In Japanese Amura means precisely the love for one’s own land, where the brand has left its production headquarters, thus giving jobs to the many local artisans.

Amura is working, therefore, for a future in which sustainability becomes the focus of everyone’s purchasing decisions. A future in which man’s respect for the environment is central.

For, as contemporary Italian poet Franco Armino writes and the brand’s website states, “Love for places is the best medicine in the world”.

The Enchanting Journey of Lapis

Lapis is the astonishing “concept living” conceived by Emanuel Gargano and Anton Cristell for Amura, with the aim of reconnecting humanity to nature. It is Mother Earth herself that gives life to these modular elements, whose forms have been shaped and softened over time, emerging almost spontaneously from ancient cobblestones. “Lapis” can assume infinite dimensions and combinations, adapting to spaces and needs, ranging from classic and traditional shapes to free and irregular compositions.

The padding, made of memory foam, ensures incredible resilience and maintains its shape over time. It is a design that, in its simplicity, is imbued with refined complexity, reclaiming the concept of time as a fundamental element for human well-being.

Thanks to Carmen Zavettieri for her valuable collaboration! 😊

From the beginning shock to the passion for his work, Alberto Rugiano tells about the family business.

It’s hard to believe, but there was a time when Alberto Rugiano didn’t want to set foot in his company.

He was just a child at the time, whereas today at the Mariano Comense headquarters, in the province of Como, Italy, we meet a young man and entrepreneur, enthusiastic about his work and determined to carry on the business bearing his surname.

Alberto, who now oversees the company’s commercial strategies, created his first collection at the age of twelve.

Back then, he spent his free days with his father Luigi in the production departments, unknowingly becoming passionate about what would become his job.

“Rugiano transforms dreams into matter” and begins from the choice of materials.

For its creations, the company chooses noble metals such as bronze, brass and steel and uses the finest leathers and fabrics.

At Rugiano, craftsmanship plays a central role: in fact, we find those who work and decorate leather, those who shape metal, those who embroider textiles and those who do cabinet-making.

Attention to detail, research into new materials and reinterpretation of classic ones result in timeless pieces of design and make the company worldwide recognisable.

Alberto has no doubts about the path taken by the company: products with clean, contemporary design, without losing sight of the attention to detail and the origin of the brand.

Rugiano means “fashionable today, but also in 50 years” and the secret of this company, explains Alberto proudly, is in people.

‘Cause no matter how the technology evolves, there are things that can only be done by human hands.

Discovering the soul of Riva 1920

He isn’t a life mentor, but he daily spreads important messages through his work.

Passionate and meticulous, Maurizio Riva takes care of his products from the first to the last stage of manufacture. Born in 1954, the president of the Riva 1920, puts his soul into every inch of his company, where he himself makes sure that everything works and is in place.

We meet him at Riva Center in Cantù, in the province of Como, surrounded by the scent of wood and “order”, which is a key word for him.

The Riva Center

Showroom

The showroom covers 1,200 smq Among the most striking pieces is the “Draft Horse: Peace and Hope,” more than three meters tall and made for Expo in 2015.

In addition to solid wood pieces from the Riva 1920 collections, you can admire the so-called “Workers’ Bicycles”, a private collection, purchased by Maurizio Riva himself, dating back to the early 1900s.

Pangea Lab

The Pangea Lab is located on the top floor of the Riva Center. Designed as a multifunctional space, this is where the Company organizes his training events and conferences.

Inside, you can see the Pangea Table designed by Michele de Lucchi for Expo 2015.

The table is inspired by the continent Pangea, which originally included all the land surface.

Also located along the walls is a xylotheque, which contains about 900 different woods from around the world.

Wood Museum

The Wood Museum houses a collection of machines and tools that is unique in Europe. The pieces on display are, in fact, more than 5,000.

Standing out above them all, is the Antico table with an iron base designed by Renzo Piano.

This table is 12 m long and is made of 48000-year-old Kauri wood from New Zealand.

Leaving his building, we feel that this special carpenter and his story left a mark on us too. We come back home, after visiting the entire Showroom, the Production Units, the exclusive Wood Museum and sitting at the Pangea Table, created for Expo 2015.

We bring with us the honor of having walked among millennial woods and the awareness that, whatever happens, we’ll get up just like the spinning top.

Thanks to Cinzia Porro, Marketing and Communication Manager at Riva 1920.

MisuraEmme Company

Ability, persistence and enthusiasm. MisuraEmme could be described with these three words. 

The company, located in Italy, in Mariano Comense (CO), was founded in 1902 by Giovanni Mascheroni. Today it has a factory of 35,000 m2.

However, we asked manager Ottaviano Borgonovo to tell us something more about this company.

Born in 1987, since 2014, Ottaviano is passionately dedicated to the commercial and marketing aspects of the family business, demonstrating great competence and professionalism.

About 10 years at the head of the Company: which developments have you noticed over this period?

“As first, I have seen the evolution of many international markets in the furniture industry, which have become strategic to its success. This is why, we wanted the company to become more and more international, in order to adapt to the requirements of foreign markets, different from those of the Italian market.

A further consequence of the decision to invest in foreign markets was the reinforcement of the quality and international design of the products. We’ve also decided to invest more in raw material technology and in the industrial process.

As a result of these choices, sales have reversed from 80% in the Italian market to less than 20% in 2022.”

Customizing the product according to the individual’s needs is one of the strengths of MisuraEmme. What are the differences between Italian and international customers? Do needs change based on geography?

“Definitely. It’s not a secret that there are countries with a taste for minimal, such as northern Europe, while those of the Middle East prefer a sumptuous aesthetic, with a prevalence of bronzed metals and marble. Quite the opposite, the United States is focused on wood. However, each country has its own specific taste.

Anyway, a trend in the luxury market is developing recently, with an international taste that unites all geographical areas and combines elements of different styles.

But another significant difference between customer types concerns the way the market is conceived: design, in fact, plays a role of primary importance in the international arena, compared to the simple production of the product. The sale of a project is much more important than the sale of the product itself.”

In 2003, MisuraEmme was awarded the Acquaver label for the use of environmentally friendly painting systems. How attentive is today’s customer to the green theme?

“The green theme is becoming more and more relevant for all markets. In fact, the appreciation for using eco-sustainable materials and industrial solutions with a lower environmental impact is increasing.

Moreover, consumer awareness has increased not only towards the product, but also towards the sustainable attitude of the company that produces it.

Being a green company not only means using materials and solutions with a lower environmental impact, but also adopting a respectful approach to the environment in the daily management of the company itself

In other words we want sustainability to be a theme in all areas of the company’s work.”

Salone del Mobile.Milano 2023: what’s new at MisuraEmme?

“This year we brought two new boiserie systems to the Salone del Mobile: Puzzle and Palo Alto Wall. We designed these two systems to be integrated with all the day and night equipment and the finishes are completely customizable. So we have a range of furniture solutions that are potentially infinite and widely customizable, which is the quintessence of the sartorial attitude of MisuraEmme.”

Puzzle

Designed by CR&S MisuraEmme

Puzzle is an equipped and modular boiserie system for wall coverings, which includes a series of completely integrated elements: wooden containers, glass cases and shelves.

The idea starts from the concept of evolution of the composition, thanks to wall coverings that can be equipped with dedicated elements, which can be used both in the living area and in the sleeping area.

It consists of a system of uprights and transoms in aluminum to be fixed to the wall and a series of frame panels.

Puzzle is available in different finishes: wood, concrete, straw or thermoformed melamine.

Palo Alto Wall

Designed by Gianni Borgonovo

Palo Alto Wall is the wooden boiserie system which becomes the distinctive element of an exclusive and functional sleeping area, with the elegance of the unmistakable MisuraEmme style.

It is a floor-to-ceiling wall covering, which can be fully integrated with the Palo Alto Free and Palo Alto I-Box walk-in closet systems, which opens up an infinite range of furnishing possibilities, providing the designer with various opportunities.

Special tip: the prestige of wood and glass can be further enhanced by installing exclusive LED lights, thanks to the electrified rack structure.

In your opinion, which is the secret of MisuraEmme’s success?

“Certainly, the ability to understand customer needs and intercept market trends. The collaboration with architects of international caliber has also contributed to the success. Last but not least, the strategic vision and the belief of my family, which over the generations has always enthusiastically supported all the innovations in research and innovation in design and product.”

How do you imagine the future of the Company? What is your vision of MisuraEmme?

“The evolution will be crucial to face an increasingly competitive market.

Because of the presence of foreign industrial companies in the furniture sector, we should be able to intercept the needs of a market that is moving towards a demand for life style, as well as product, in order to compete internationally. To consolidate our presence in the most emerging markets, we’ll then face a series of international investments.

Finally, it will be essential to implement the latest technological innovations that in these years are revolutionizing the world of communication and beyond.”

Credits: Photographs courtesy of MisuraEmme.

Lighting is essential to create the right atmosphere in every room of the house. With the use of technology there are so many ways to light up your home intelligently.

Using technology for home lighting offers many benefits, including a more comfortable, safe and efficient experience.

In this video we talked about it with the Lighting Designer Filippo Cannata, who explained the importance of using technology for home lighting.

Home lighting technology

Technology has revolutionized the way we manage lighting in the home, providing numerous opportunities to improve energy efficiency and comfort.

Thanks to the use of LED lamps, motion sensors and remote control systems, it is possible to create the perfect atmosphere in any room.

Energy saving

The use of home lighting technology generates great energy savings. LED lamps consume much less energy than traditional light bulbs. Additionally, smart lighting systems can be programmed to automatically turn off the lights when there are no people in a room, further reducing energy consumption.

Remote control

Another great advantage of using technology for home lighting is the ability to control the lights remotely.

For example, smart lighting systems allow you to control the lighting using a mobile application or voice assistant. With a simple touch you can turn on, adjust or turn off the lights in any room. This is especially useful when you’re away from home.

Personalization and importance of a well-lit environment

Home lighting is an important aspect of home comfort, influencing people’s mood, productivity and health.

With smart lighting systems you can customize the lighting of every room in your home according to your preferences. For example, you can choose between different color temperatures to create the right atmosphere at any time of day or according to the activity you are doing, such as reading, watching TV or relaxing. Plus, you can program the lights to turn on gradually in the morning, simulating the natural sunrise, to help you wake up naturally.

Safety

Using home lighting technology can increase the safety of your home. You can schedule lighting systems to turn on and off at regular intervals, giving the impression that someone is always home and reducing the risk of theft or break-ins. Additionally, some smart lighting systems can be integrated with security systems to automatically turn on lights when motion is detected on your property.

Benefits for you

Ultimately, using technology for home lighting offers many benefits, from saving energy to customizing the lighting to your preferences. Additionally, smart lighting systems can increase the safety of your home.

If you are looking for a way to improve the lighting in your home, the Cannata/Salbini partnership offers our customers the possibility of essentially relying on a “genius” who takes care of every detail of the lighting project.

Esadesign art and passion for design mirrors

Esadesign was born from the will and intuition of its founders to express their passion for glass through design

We talked about it with Luna Pavone, one of the founders and company manager.

“Passion supported by several years of experience for a raw material with a unique charm that they find in its malleability but at the same time resistance.”

The roots of Esadesign are deep and linked to the territory of Monza and Brianza, in Lombardy, where craftsmanship and tradition come together to give life to the typical excellence of Made in Italy.

Corporate values ​​of Esadesign

“Human value is certainly what we are closest to, it is a precious and indispensable contribution in all phases of the production processes.”

Another no less important value is the protection of the environment, that brings Esadesign to improve every day with the aim of achieving ever better sustainability standards.

What is the essential element in the design of a mirror?

“An essential element in a design mirror is the awareness of having to satisfy a need. Aesthetics in design will always have to meet functionality.”

Which collection are you most attached to and why?

“It’s difficult to answer, each collection brings with it elements and experiences that do not fade but remain and contribute to a personal and intellectual enrichment.”

Specular Collection

Specular comes to life thanks to the will of creating mirrors of absolute excellence gathering a secular tradition in glass processing.

The “Specular” collection is characterized by luxury finishes and contemporary lines. It has an incredible ability to adapt to different contexts thanks to its sinuous and seductive lines.

Can Esadesign also make customized mirrors?

Esadesign can make customized mirrors evaluating the needs of the customer.

Italy and Australia

“A professional synergy and a bond of mutual esteem and trust. A bond born thanks to the appreciation of the Italian tradition in this sector and the opening of Australian culture towards the aesthetics and lines of Italian design and beyond.”

Credits: Photographs courtesy of Esadesign.

Vener: bespoke furniture from mechanics to design

Vener was born in 1969 and is distinguished by a particular aspect: customized furniture. We had the opportunity to interview the president Giovanni Vener.

For more than twenty years, in Valbrona, in the province of Como, Giovanni Vener has been involved in the production of mechanical products in the family business.

Giovanni Vener photographed by Giorgio Lorini.

“We often supplied carpentry workshops with metal frames for the creation of handcrafted furniture.”

It all started with a manufacturing scrap: an aluminum sheet to be scrapped. Giovanni Vener conceives metal as a plastic mass: thus he transforms a piece of aluminum into a panel that anticipates the furnishing elements, typical of creative recycling.

“I have always loved the scent and texture of raw materials, heating and shaping iron following my imagination has always fascinated me and, as in many success stories, mine too started with a very simple request.”

Why did Giovanni Vener choose this career?

We asked Giovanni Vener why he chose this career.

“The reason for my willingness to now devote most of my day to this activity is simple, here I am I feel alive, here I find my identity as a human being in harmony with my surroundings. I create as if I were making each item to give it t”o a friend with my heart.”

Materials

Vener uses only natural raw materials of great quality: solid wood, metal, stone and glass. Few materials, handcrafted, joined without the use of chemicals, combined in innovative way: there is no use of glue or acrylic paints.

The wood mostly comes from Como lands, smoothed to reach a surprising velvet effect preserving its natural shades or used exactly as it is, as in the case of logs used as table base.

Stone used is the marble of the Lombard valleys, a material that offers great stability and versatility, allowing different processes for each project.

The metal is skillfully treated, with a complete technical know-how to obtain surprising effects of brightness and decorations.

Vener Tailor made art

The 2012 led to the birth of Vener Tailor Made Art. A team of 12 carpenters, mechanics and carpenters create the works conceived and designed by Giovanni Vener.

Stainless steel, aluminum, iron, copper and cortén steel that blend with essences such as chestnut, cedar of Lebanon, with stone, marble, glass. A path that has given life to modern furnishings, unique pieces or in any case in super limited reproduction, which live an elegant balance of form and material, between craftsmanship and industrial archeology, between art and design.

“We create our pieces moved by imagination and the will to create something unique. Our customers have the privilege of having custom-made pieces of art, unique creations.”

Credits: Photographs courtesy of Vener. Photo of Giovanni Vener by Giorgio Lorini.

Guerra Vanni: bespoke luxury furniture

Guerra Vanni was founded in the 1960, in San Pietro di Morubio (VR), immediately setting on the luxury furniture sector.

“Since 1962 we have been producing furniture and furnishing accessories for homes all over the world. Roots in tradition, contemporary vision, international design, craftsmanship: these are our distinctive traits.”

Family business. From left: Jenny, Vanni and Giada Guerra.

Made in Italy

Guerra Vanni is synonymous with Made in Italy. It was born in an area which has always been known and appreciated for the artisan production of furniture. Manual skills and attention to detail handed down by grandparents and great-grandparents combines with the typical Made in Italy mentality, to guarantee quality and good taste.

Hand crafted decoration

Customized projects

Guerra Vanni creates customized projects. The most stunning furniture doesn’t just happen. It is carefully thought, designed and crafted. And this is exactly the ethos behind Guerra Vanni.

“The starting point of every collaboration is always your dream: how did you imagine your room? How would it make you feel comfortable and at home? It’s from this information that a detailed map of the area is created, and a 3D project is born. In this way, you can touch the final result right away.”

“We like to reflect a genuine connection with our clients and lifestyle: the colors they love, the type of wood and the materials they prefer. It’s only up to us to adapt their preferences perfectly to the style of the furniture we make.”

Best projects

In Guerra Vanni the team establishes a relationship of trust and respect with every customer.

“Customers like Mrs Silvia of the Los Angeles project are the greatest satisfaction for us. After 15 years, last year she contacted us to renew her house in contemporary style.”

Guerra Vanni in the world

Today Guerra Vanni is a reference point in Italy and in the world thanks to its classic collection, synonymous with tradition and nobility, and to the contemporary, fresh, youthful, and daily collection.

Over the years, the team has specialized in the characteristics and needs of each country. From America to Asia, passing through Africa and even Australia: Guerra Vanni is everywhere where craftsmanship, good taste and elegance are sought.

Credits: Photographs courtesy of Guerra Vanni.