ZO_loft interviewed for BEST DESIGN PROJECTS

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ZO_loft had been interviewed by Martha O’Hara for BEST DESIGN PROJECTS.
The article come up yesterday. As following you can check his questions and our answers. If you want you can also check the original interview on BDP.

What are your inspirations?
Sometimes creativity is like an enigma, an unknown formula, but it is also a way to show that for each solution we found, there is always a new one waiting to come out. As explained in our studio mission “ZO_loft is following its aims by reinventing or hybridizing functions [...] investigating in life-style and human daily habits “. It is difficult to say how we find inspirations for our projects as each project needs a particular reasoning. Referring to product design, we could make a couple of examples quite simple: sometimes it very useful to think of very simple and flexible “systems” (elastic plus button, etc..) and maybe to carry around with us those systems. Changing context, but keep thinking on the same system can be enlightening. Another solution can be to start directly from a nonsense and think to impossible but interesting solutions. We do also like to observe ourselves, our life, or common habits of people and , whenever possible, to set and start our project from that point of view. The Din-ink pen cutlery  is a good example fot that. The project starts observing people chewing their pens. The MOODY+PLUGGY tablecloth  started observing people placing their mobiles, key, iPod on the table while dining. Or the QWERTY sofa was born observing people spleeping on their keyboards. The secret is that sometimes the easiest idea may be the good one! But the real secret is that you don’t have to be looking for an idea, but the idea that will find you!

Which interior designers are you fans of?
We don’t have a speficic interior designer that we follow. We do love everyone who is trying to innovate and everyone is closer to our kid of philosphy. A contemporary name could be N55 or Joe Velluto, while an old one could be Joe Colombo.

What is your favorite project and why?
It could probably be Wheelly. It is a special cart designed for homeless including a folding shelter. It was our first design work and it also represent at most the way we approch to projects. In architecture, as in the design, it doesn’t matter the scale you are working but the the approach you have, the way you choose to solve the problems or requests. No matter how many copies of your ideas anyone can make, what matters is being able to justify the route taken to the product, to make it as your own and have you own recognizable style, a personal way of working in front of a problem. Nowadays, when most of the time it’s economically difficult to live with your work and it is not easy not to compromise, we think it is important to keep recognize oneself in a thought, in a trajectory and never miss a joy of what you do.

What’s your criteria for the products you choose to your designs? And where do you look for them?
We are all architects with different specializations, skills, interests, different point of views on how to make and manage a project. But we all have a common interest on the temporal control of the projects: we believe in mobile, sustainable, and flexible design. We believe that a good project means transformation, regardless of the scale and theme. So whenever possible we mostly prefer to personally design products we use. But we are also good fan of Ikea.

Can you describe us your day at the office?
To understand a typical day, you have to start from the meeting. To arrange a meeting between all of us is a problem definitely impossible to solve. The phone calls start from early morning and very often we got only alerts of unattainable users, busy and rarely non-existent too! After several failed attempts you are nearly there to choose to leave the office due to lack of relations between the elements of the group. At that point a phone call comes: “Have you tried to phone me?” (someone is talking while driving on the motorway). With an hard work we start to set the meeting “see you at …”. The call ends abruptly by a tunnel on the motorway. At 2 am we can talk again, but after you close the phone, you realize that no one has understood nothing of what we said because we talked while sleeping. A typical day starts with all good intentions and with 2 liters of coffee. We start reading the emails while waiting someone of us sharing a file or a new idea… at least uptill we don’t plug an usb pen in the computer. Within two minutes we had three computers infected! (to be continued …).

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