CONVERSATION

Serena Confalonieri

The Diary of Serena Confalonieri, designer & art director based in Milan. Welcome to Caleido, an inspirational diary, that narrates many stories: about creative people, trends, travels, objects. / Read the Editor’s letter here

Diary by: @serenaconfalonieri

Serena Confalonieri
Ph. Andrea Agrati
1. Companies (both from fashion and design fields) are constantly looking for a balance between respecting their own DNA and the originality of the designers they collaborate with. What is the creative method that allows you to express yourself while remaining consistent with the corporate identity of your clients?

I believe that the most effective method is to start with research, analysing the company’s history, its processes, the materials that characterise it and the cultural references that guide it. Keeping these points in mind creates a design framework that is faithful to the company’s DNA on which I can build, allowing the style and aesthetics that represent me to emerge. It’s a question of balance and detail, and finding the right balance between client and customer is a fundamental job at the basis of every successful project and every lasting collaboration.

Serena Confalonieri
@serenaconfalonieri
Serena Confalonieri
@serenaconfalonieri
2. What is one music record that makes you travel with your mind? A particular song that you like to listen to in your solitude?

Behind the colourful, floral and light world that characterises my work, I have a very rock musical soul! One of the albums I love and have loved the most is “Is this it?” by The Strokes. Other songs that often accompany me include “R U Mine” by the Arctic Monkeys and “Blister in the Sun” by the Violent Femmes.

@serenaconfalonieri
@serenaconfalonieri
Serena Confalonieri

@serenaconfalonieri

3. You are an all-round creative and have covered a wide range of product areas. What is a new field you would like to try your hand at? What would you design?

One slightly unusual area in which I would love to work is car interiors: soft, cosy, ergonomic; it would be nice to imagine a female hand in a masculine world like the automotive industry.

Serena Confalonieri
@serenaconfalonieri
Serena Confalonieri
@serenaconfalonieri
4. If you were to create a moodboard about yourself, from which sources would you draw the images? Would you tell us about them?

An illustration by Alfons Mucha: I believe that Art Nouveau is one of the currents of the past that has most influenced my work;

A piece of furniture by Josef Hoffmann, for its drive towards geometric abstraction;

A ceramic piece by Gio Ponti, for its masterful use of colour and form;

An interior by Eileen Grey, for its balance between minimalism and sinuous forms;

A pattern by Koloman Moser, for its use of anthropomorphic forms mixed with geometric decoration;

An architecture by Barragán: nature, colours and essential forms;

A pre-Columbian statuette, with its anthropomorphic and zoomorphic designs, distant cultures and ancestral rituals;

An Indian textile, for the vivid colours and the feeling of freedom it expresses.

Serena Confalonieri
@serenaconfalonieri
5. One of the distinguishing features of your work is the use of graphisms. How did you approach this aesthetic? What relationship do you have with patterns in your daily life? What are the main sources of inspiration?
@serenaconfalonieri
@serenaconfalonieri

It is a passion born with the study of architecture: design as a three-dimensional development of balances and graphic weights. The inspirations are many, from the world of nature to geometric shapes, everything can be scaled and replicated. Working a lot with the world of textiles and surfaces has given me the opportunity to experiment a lot in this field.

Serena Confalonieri

@serenaconfalonieri

6. Are you a solitary creative or do you love collective work? In your path, who are the people who have “shaped” you? Can you tell us about these experiences?

I am open to confrontation but in general I love working alone. Especially in the design phase, I think it helps me to collect ideas. In the realisation phase, however, dialogue with clients and makers becomes essential. I have often collaborated with small artisans and participated in projects and initiatives related to production techniques of the past, together with Triennale Milano, Fondazione Cologni, Michelangelo Foundation. On these occasions, I have had the opportunity to discover and learn a lot and to meet unusual people.

7. Caleido is a diary, also a travel diary. An object that in this day and age, due to travel restrictions, seems more anachronistic than ever. If you were now free to travel, where would you go (far or near)? Who would you send a postcard to and what would you write on it?

Before the pandemic, I was planning a trip to Mongolia. Ideally I would take it from there, although I’m afraid we’ll have to wait a long time to go that far. I would send the postcard to a handful of people, something I do on every trip. I would probably write the classic “Greetings from…“. It’s yesterday’s habit, so it amuses me that the content is also a bit old-fashioned.

Serena Confalonieri
@serenaconfalonieri
8. The current situation suggested a slowdown, which inevitably encouraged personal reflection. What, if any, have been the new routines in your life? What new awareness will you take with you into the post-pandemic?

There was a slowdown at the beginning but I would say it was short-lived. Beyond the expectations we had in 2020, 2021 shows no sign of letting up, so I’d say it’s too early to draw conclusions. In the routine, I have been working from home a lot more, doing a lot of Skype meetings and chatting on the phone. Like everyone else, while it felt new and sometimes even positive in the first few months, it has now become exhausting. At work, however, I was able to devote myself to new projects and above all to a series of self-productions that had been in the drawer for a long time, such as the Calypso collection of glasses and bottles.

@serenaconfalonieri
@serenaconfalonieri
Serena Confalonieri
@serenaconfalonieri
9. What will you be looking for from the contestants of the MM Award – International creative award?

Definitely innovative, fresh, young ideas. I would like to find projects that enhance not only the shapes and aesthetics but also the production, with craft techniques or innovative technologies.

Serena Confalonieri
@serenaconfalonieri
10. What is one object in your home that you would never give up? What is the memory attached to it? Would you send us a photo taken by you?

I was recently given a “Valentine” typewriter by Olivetti as a present. It is an iconic object that I think represents me, even though it is a new entry I am already very fond of it.

@serenaconfalonieri
@serenaconfalonieri

No products in the cart.