December 1, 2010
The Next Wave Carlo Molteni | Molteni
“This capacity to overcome obstacles and transform brilliant ideas into brilliant products is hard to imitate.”
There are two qualities that distinguish Italian furniture design: desire and ability. If Jean Nouvel went to a German or French or Swiss company with an idea to make a table as thin as an envelope, they’d probably shake their heads. Here we have people with the desire to take on a challenge and the ability to resolve production problems most firms would think too difficult. Our creative process is in constant evolution. Once we made things by hand. Today projects are born and refined on computer. We have machines that in just hours translate drawings into three-dimensional objects. We used this to develop the Arc table, by Foster + Partners, which has a base made of ultra-light cement. The cement is reinforced by organic fibers and is incredibly strong and stable. These are the abilities that will keep us competitive as the market expands across the globe. This capacity to overcome obstacles and transform brilliant ideas into brilliant products is hard to imitate. And the furniture it produces is very hard to copy. The Chinese and other countries are good manufacturers, but they’re interested in mass-market products. We aren’t interested in high volume. We focus
on high quality.