“Prolific” is a weighty designation to assign to a living designer, but few contemporaries have produced the caliber and portfolio of Piero Lissoni. Since the start of his career in 1978, the designer and architect has produced major works for every room in the house for a who’s who of brands—Alessi, Cappellini, Living Divani, Kartell, Cassina—as well as homes, showrooms, and hotels in cities around the globe. Dwell caught up with the soft-spoken Italian at the showroom Dzine in San Francisco.
Ideal working environment: Everywhere. I may prefer to work at a classical table in a classical office with a lot of noise, or a beautiful park, or in a forest, or on the top of a mountain. It’s totally personal; there are no limits.Lucky break:Love is the real lucky break. It can happen in a flash.“Eureka!” moment:To enjoy a fantastic cappuccino in the morning with a very good croissant. This can help the creative process a lot.Hero: Donald Duck. He is, at the same time, human, stupid, and a genius. Best seat in the house: In the kitchen.A book:I have a biblioteca. Two of my favorite books are The Odyssey, by Homer, and Six Memos for the Next Millennium, by Italo Calvino.A film:There are too many.Worst-ever idea:It’s not possible to talk about it.Highest compliment:To be human. Humanity is so complex. You have to be nice, angry, and arrogant. A fighter and a lover.Soundtrack:I like baroque music from the 17th century, especially Bach, and the piano player Glenn Gould.Antihero: Stupidity is the antihero. I’m against ignorant people and unfortunately this world is full of them.Best advice: Every moment of every day is a long intellectual process. Professionally, everything is possible. You have to be lucky, but you also have to be good.When not designing: I design a lot. Dream commission: To be able to continue in this way for many years.I wish I had: More time to spend sailing, skiing, climbing, walking somewhere—–anywhere.Looking forward to: Girls. Beauty is a special alphabet. More than just long legs, artifice, and plastic; it’s looking true, a nice light in the eyes, some natural movement.