Interview with designer Valerio Cometti
Designer sensibility and engineer vision are not easy to find in one person: Valerio Cometti, founder of "Valerio Cometti + V12 Design" studio and designer of the Bertazzoni Master and Professional Series for the North American market, brings both together.
When penning new products, Cometti brings with himself his own background of studies in mechanical engineering and international experiences. It is apparent that he knows how to grasp and manage the dialogue between shapes and materials, all combined with the tools and determination typical of engineering. From such combination of art and technology the challenge of the collaboration with Bertazzoni was born... let's find out more!
"A challenge like the redesign of the Porsche 911 awaits you ...": your collaboration with Bertazzoni starts here. How did it go?
The challenge was complex, but seeing the satisfied expressions of everyone on the day of the launch of the two series of products has completely paid off all our efforts. When you are expected to "redesign the 911", the first thing to do is to learn its past and above all understand the stylistic and functional elements that turned a certain series of kitchens into the "911" of the Bertazzoni range.
The goal is to go past a purely morphological level, to look beyond a purely formal inspiration, but instead to understand the language and values that the company wants to communicate. This is the only way through which it is possible to reach the desired depth and the ability to generate long lasting projects, whilst at the same time communicating continuity and innovation.
Working with numerous historical Italian brands has taught us how to manage high expectations and "heavy" design legacies.
In the case of Bertazzoni, the creation of the projects was particularly fruitful and pleasant thanks to the excellent relationship our firm and the Company managed to establish: to maintain an intense dialogue and a fertile exchange with the marketing and R & D of the client company is the most effective way to achieve the project goals.
Having trained as a mechanical engineer, what were the characteristics that you took into account when designing Bertazzoni products?
The engineering training in my creative profession expresses itself mainly in two areas: firstly the ability to get in deep harmony with the technical and manufacturing aspects of the project and secondly, the use of a rigorous and precise working method.
These two areas are mistakenly considered in opposition, if not sometimes in open conflict with the profession of designer, but my personal experience that there is nothing more incorrect. Giving depth and structure to the creative phase increases its strength and propulsive capacity, ideas are born with a greater solidity and more easily permeate the natural filters of approval that companies place.
Understanding the functional needs and the ergonomic requirements with depth has enabled us to translate them correctly into shapes that express the quality and performance of the Bertazzoni kitchens.
We were talking about Porsche ... in addition to technology, design has a very important aspect even in a home appliance: how did you combine it?
Technology and design are a very powerful combination of great interest for my studio.
However, it is necessary to know the technology in depth in order to be able to integrate it into the design in an authentic and sincere way, otherwise we would limit ourselves to making ornamental reference to a somehow technological mood.
In the case of the projects for the Bertazzoni kitchens, one of the values that I wanted to highlight was the great manufacturing quality expressed by the Company: I wanted the whole kitchen to look machined out of a single block of metal.
Numerous formal details that we have designed for the Bertazzoni kitchens seem to be the result of numerical control milling: it is a very direct way of celebrating the Company's quality and industrial technology.
In the world of technology there is a growing trend of dematerialization of the interfaces, with the consequent proliferation of touch-sensitive screens and surfaces: we can also see it first of all in our cars. In the case of the Bertazzoni kitchens it was a pleasant breath of air, being able to work on projects with great physicality and "tactility": personally I think it is a great way to give great longevity to the project.
The Bertazzoni free kitchen from the Professional Series has recently won the prestigious Red Dot Award. What was the extra gear of this product in your opinion?
Honestly it is very difficult to say what was the element that convinced the prestigious jury to award to this project.
In general, both the Master series and the Professional series have distinctive elements from the design point of view: from the balanced proportions to the finely crafted details, whichever scale is used to evaluate the two projects there is plenty to sink one’s teeth into!!
Jokes aside, winning an international award is always a moment of gratification for the whole project team: it means that the project has been able to convey to the judges all the objectives that both the company and the designer had set themselves.
It is difficult for me to speak of prominent elements in this project, because I might come across as immodest, but I certainly cherish the memory of the talks with Valentina Bertazzoni and her colleagues. During these sessions we all discussed about kitchen as a piece of architecture, in which proportions and the dialogue between the different elements had to meet very high and refined criteria of evaluation: certainly a very satisfying way to design.
How does Deep Design Thinking apply to the world of home appliances and interior design?
"Deep Design Thinking" is a very powerful and vast creative process: disciplines such as product design and graphic design fall within it, they are part of it.
Through Deep Design Thinking, our studio applies creative thinking to very wide areas of a company life: from identifying new business models to creating technological transfers between sectors that are very distant from one another.
In the case of the Bertazzoni projects, the challenge was limited to the field of product design, but maybe one day it could be interesting to collaborate with the Bertazzoni team in the field of Design Thinking in order to envision new cooking scenarios and identify new domestic habits.