Massimo Iosa Ghini: The Speed of Design

By Virginia Gardiner / Published by Dwell
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Designer Massimo Iosa Ghini takes a moment to reflect on the hazards of speed and the merits of Europe’s standard of living.

It’s a balmy October afternoon in Bologna, Italy. Massimo Iosa Ghini’s office is in the old city center, on the second floor of a Renaissance palazzo that now houses grand high-ceilinged offices around a central courtyard. Iosa Ghini, born in 1959, was a formative member of Italy’s Bolidism and Memphis movements. Today he practices both architecture and design for clients including—but not limited to—Ferrari, Snaidero, Listone Giordano, Moroso, Poltrona Frau, Zumtobel Staff, Dornbracht, and Duravit.

In a mostly white room spotted with models of racecars, buildings, and other things bearing a streamlined, frozen movement, Iosa Ghini seats himself on one of his office chairs. Several books of his drawings and designs are on the table. After an espresso-fueled greeting, I fumble with my tape recorder. "I’ve never met a journalist who’s comfortable operating one of those things," Iosa Ghini says. "Not even the tech-savvy ones I met in Japan."

At the 2004 Abitare il Tempo show in Verona, six dseigners were invited to create living environments. Studio Iosa Ghini showcased the Casa Fluida, shown here in a rendering.

At the 2004 Abitare il Tempo show in Verona, six dseigners were invited to create living environments. Studio Iosa Ghini showcased the Casa Fluida, shown here in a rendering.

Casa Fluida featured an open layout of functionally flexible space inspired by the fluid city.

Casa Fluida featured an open layout of functionally flexible space inspired by the fluid city.

Like the aesthetics of Bolidism, a movement Iosa Ghini founded in 1985, fluid curves characterize many of his designs. Seen here is the interior of the Ferrari store in Rome, which he designed in 2004.

Like the aesthetics of Bolidism, a movement Iosa Ghini founded in 1985, fluid curves characterize many of his designs. Seen here is the interior of the Ferrari store in Rome, which he designed in 2004.

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Virginia Gardiner

@virginia_gardiner

Our "Process" queen Virginia Gardiner currently lives in London, where she is finishing up a master's degree in industrial design engineering. "It has been fun but also tiring," she reports. "I spend a lot of time in the workshop with glue and other stuff on my hands and have recently been casting lots of shapes in horse poo from the horses that trot around Buckingham Palace. But we have to make stuff with a market, so I'm working on a new waterless toilet.

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