Francesco Costacurta

Francesco Costacurta

Tell us something about you: who you are, your background, what drew you towards the world of architecture and design?

Design made its entrance into my life rather unexpectedly. When I completed my high school diploma in science, I didn’t even have a clue what design was about. I liked to draw, however, and my Art History teacher pointed me down this road.
From that moment on, I discovered a whole new world, which continued to offer me a wealth of satisfactions, a few disappointments and plenty of challenges, which I’ve always risen to with plenty of energy and a desire to put myself to the test.
I consider myself very lucky. I’ve met a number of special people able to help me exploit my talent and teach me the “tricks of the trade”.
I’ve worked in companies, in studios both large and small. I spent 4 wonderful years in France and in Austria, two indispensable experiences for my training as a designer.
And I also had my own design study, with all the successes and sacrifices that implies – another very positive experience that made me a better designer and a better person.
I can say I’ve tried everything, and that I’ve learned a great deal from each experience.

Would you say you have a specific style?

Because I work in an extremely varied range of market sectors, from toys to furnishings, as well as domestic appliances and industrial machinery, I find I have to adapt my approach to different types of clients and end users.
My works are not self-referential; in each project I study, analyse and interpret the tastes of the client, adapting my style to suit each particular request.

Who or what are your points of reference in the world of design?

I don’t have a favourite designer, to be honest. I really admire all those professionals who have the enviable talent of being able to give a profound new value to a product.
The world of design is packed full of aesthetes, but not all industrial designers have the gift of being able to move beyond appearances. This is what I try to do every day, and it’s what I admire most in my fellow designer. 

What’s your opinion of today’s architecture and design?

I have neither the skills nor the presumption to offer a critique of the design of the last few years.
In my own modest experience, I’ve had the opportunity to see products of extraordinary quality and innovation, as well as other weaker, more superficial efforts.
This is a world that’s evolving all the time, however, a world open to everyone, where everyone can express their creativity and talent, and I think this is a source of constant regeneration for the profession. 

Where do you gather your inspiration from?

Each project is different. Sometimes inspiration comes from complex, structured research, sometimes from a brainstorming session… and sometimes it really does come “out of the blue”.
My favourite way to gather ideas is travel. I like to take a break from routine, even just for a few days, and dive into a completely new setting that offers unexpected details and plenty of stimuli. Inspiration doesn’t always emerge, but it does blow the cobwebs away, keeping the mind receptive and alert, and this makes finding a solution much easier.

How did you learn about the Restile contest and why did you decide to take part?

I found out about the contest simply through an online search. It was Friday, a rainy weekend was forecast, I was looking for a project to do, and the Restile brief appeal to me more than the many others I saw.
I set myself a deadline to find a convincing idea that was ground-breaking enough, and I’m very pleased my idea was understood and found appealing. 

What are the motifs that inspired your project?

Since there were few restrictions in terms of aesthetics and design mood, I tried to create a project that was completely different from any other, a system of tiles with a ground-breaking, innovative message, more than a bestselling idea.
I like to create products with a story behind them, not projects that are simply functional or look good. There are no patterns, no colour compositions, but there’s a strong idea and a story to tell, while remaining within the production limits.


What are your expectations for the near future?

I hope to be able to continue encountering people and projects that allow me to grow, to make progress, offering continual stimuli to improve on what I’m already able to do, or to call it into question if necessary.
I’m ambitious, and I look towards the big names in industrial design as examples to follow, objectives to reach. 

More generally, what are your dreams, aspirations, plans?

If I could dream, I’d probably see my working future as somewhat distant from the company or study environment I’ve always worked in until now. I’d like to try to approach design more as a professional hobby than an actual job.
I’d like to travel with my family, with my laptop, trying to create "different" products, products with a profound value, able to become my personal contribution to improving lives.

Well, you did ask me about my dream...



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