Serious, professional and humble: this is Achille Castiglioni’s lesson that should be taught to younger people, in addition to not taking himself too seriously.

During the episodes of Icone Talks over the last two years, Icone’s art director Giulio Cappellini has repeatedly invited young people who want to approach the world of industrial design to study the history of the subject and its main protagonists.

In the Talk with Giovanna Castiglioni, Cappellini returned to this theme as he recounts, through objects, the great master Achille Castiglioni.

“Achille made himself understood all over the world with his hands and his objects, with which he gave masterful lessons that have remained in the history of design. If today Italian industry and design are known throughout the world, it is due to these sacred monsters, their passion, professionalism and also the humility of always questioning themselves,” Cappellini recalls.

How did Achille Castiglioni become a myth?

“My father always worked seriously, but without taking himself too seriously. Becoming great means being humble and having a great relationship with companies, growing with companies. Achille designed a lot and established great synergies with the companies, he even went to work with the workers. Today everything is less practical, the students send you the drawing, in rendering, but if you don’t touch the project, you don’t see it, you don’t shape it… it’s difficult” replied Govanna Castiglioni.

“I always tell young people to get their hands dirty. Being in the workshop gives you an immediate relationship with the object, the same is true when you follow an installation live, from the very first moment, another area in which Achille Castiglioni was extraordinary,” commented Cappellini, who then continued: “If you do something good, people then notice it over time. Today, even among young people, I see a lot of research into objects that have made the history of Italian design. Lately, we’ve become too caught up in lifestyle, which hides the weakness of our projects; instead, we must go back to making beautiful and useful objects, just like at the beginning of Italian design”.

“The fact that young people recognize the heritage of these objects is a very strong signal. Behind a light or a chair designed by your father you can see all the craftsmanship and knowledge of the project and the material that he put into it,” concluded Cappellini.

“That’s why we opened the studio,” – said Giovanna Castiglioni – “so you can follow the design process also in the studio and you can touch it with your hands. If I see the objects in a museum, they all look like things you don’t use. I grew up with these objects, I always used them, then I saw them in museums… I prefer to have used them.”

“I agree” – Cappellini concluded – “There is still this fear towards design objects, people see them in collections and in the glittering windows of showrooms and they still find it hard to imagine them in their own homes. Instead, the beauty is in using and touching a product”.

You can review and listen to the Talk between Giuglio Cappellini and Giovanna Castiglione in the IGTV of Icone.


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