Q: With Salone here, all eyes are yet again on Italy. What are some of the must-see events and places?
A: During the Salone, Milan becomes a bustling city and every single store has something to offer design enthusiasts. The three main areas to explore are Brera, Tortona and Ventura. Brera is the iconic art and design neighborhood in the center of town, where our pop-up shop is located. Tortona is close to the famous Navigli canals and is where many fashion brands—such as Zegna, Fendi and Moncler—have their showrooms. Ventura is a more industrial area where you can find younger international exhibitors. On top of that, there are two new spots: the Armani Silos and MUDEC, the Museum of Cultures designed by David Chipperfield. And lastly, I recommend visiting the Triennale Design Museum.
Q: How would you say the design world has changed the most since you started your career?
A: The two most significant changes in design that I have registered are the rise of women as primary consumers and the advent of technology in every aspect of our lives. Women are now discerning collectors, and of course this new demand has had a profound effect on what and how things are made. In turn, technology has enabled designers to achieve results that were unthinkable just a couple of decades ago, such as Zaha Hadid’s parametricism in architecture.
Q: As a native of Florence, what is the one thing everyone needs to see in the city (but perhaps rarely gets to)?
A: I feel few tourists in Florence get a real feeling of workshop life. Just head to the Oltrarno neighborhood (that is, literally, beyond the Arno river) and wander around the ateliers of wood carvers, marble sculptors, goldsmiths and silversmiths. Most of them will be proud to show off how they transform raw materials into beautiful flawless objects. And don’t miss the Pontormo “Deposition” painting that is hiding in the tiny Santa Felicita church just off Ponte Vecchio.