Mario Gagliardi: My design philosophy

In my work, I seek qualities which go beyond what can be rationalized through known mechanisms (of design, management, manufacture, marketing etc.). If it is objects, signs, or interactions, I want to discover and express what makes each of them unique, what gives them their own intrinsic character.

My approach to designing is not typically Western, it is more influenced by an integrative Asian worldview. For me, things and interactions are not just tools to get something done as quickly and conveniently as possible. Rather, I see things and interactions as intermediaries to approach situations in particular ways, as facilitators and fellow travelers to live our lives with.

Good design is, for instance, an interaction which charms you into learning something you did not know, or an object which inspires you to explore a new territory. I aspire to design experiences, objects and spaces which provoke thoughts, appeal to the senses, shape or recall memories, and connect you with uniquely human impressions – qualities which are impossible to express in numbers or words.

The moment when a design becomes real and partakes in a particular space and time, it does something to this space and time. It contributes to shape viewpoints, options, and habits. Therefore, a designer has to be acutely aware of the context of his work in the particular dialectic of his time.

In order to find appropriate design expressions, a large part of my work is based on research and experimentation, with the goal to find what holds things and experiences together, what makes them memorable. Design should translate the situations we encounter in life into things and experiences, in order to inspire an awareness of what life is all about.

Design is a conversation with a situation.

Mario Gagliardi, 2008