By Marie Kulik, Manager of Exhibitor Business Development
This edition of Inside Discover Design features Matteo Monni, General Manager of DEAGOURMET, a brand of the Italian company BONTA EXPRESS. Monni discussed how the Discover Design exhibit can help further high end design products, the future of the genre and more.
Marie: What is the inspiration behind the design and functionality of your housewares products?
MM: With our Brand and the DEAGOURMET products we strive to achieve a creative combination of the best in Italian excellence. We aim to do this in two worlds which are in constant dialogue and have many points in common: fine dining and design. DEAGOURMET is the perfect match between Italian DESIGN and FOOD, which come together with a style and an approach focused on uniting exquisite form with pure substance.
Food is our source of inspiration. It provides us the stimulus to create objects that bring functions and rituals back into the home at a time when the pace of life is just too fast. The basic message our creations convey is that “Experiencing food to the full does not just mean eating good, healthy dishes. It means combining the pleasure of savoring the flavor of what we eat with enjoying the appearance factor that makes it desirable even before it is served”.
This is the thought behind the DEAGOURMET Lines including the just-released Desiderio tasting sets in fine white porcelain, the chopping board – platters in natural bamboo, the Nero & Colore plate sets and the Sole & Ghiaccio hand-made blown-glass cocktail/long drink glasses.
Thanks to our fine design, with DEAGOURMET food becomes the vehicle for an intimate, multi-sensorial experience, capable of satisfying the newest dining behavior and customs. Our products combine colors, shapes, flavors and ideas with materials to bring beauty back into dining.
Marie: Are there specific designers that have influenced you?
MM: There is no particular designer that has influenced my work. I have always had a deep-seated love of art, painting and architecture. This has stimulated my curiosity and led me to link my work directly to that of Italian designers, architects and art directors capable of translating my creative vision into well-made, aesthetically satisfying, convenient, eco-sustainable and, above all, affordable objects.
Marie: What makes a design “great”?
MM: In my opinion, the historic principle “Form follows Function” is unable really to define the more vibrant, complex design scene we see before us today.
In a modern world that is often aggressive, the concept has established itself that an object must have a soul; it must be emotional first and foremost. In its dialogue with people, the communication of feelings is more important than function. This makes it clear that design is the coming-together of a variety of needs (use, appearance and marketing). I think it is compromise that generates the most effective solutions.
For us, the spark that triggers the alchemy between creativity, originality and function is lit by focusing on the many varied desires and needs linked to social dining in today’s world. So we want to continue to design objects that interpret people’s emotions and their new lifestyle aspirations.
Marie: How much does cost influence design?
MM: Our company believes in investing in design research and materials. We aim to achieve the best technical, technological know-how and first-class craftsmanship. This leads us to “innovate” and not to “revise” existing products through design variations. We follow a path that leads from the genuine Italian design idea to the manufacture of the finished product while maintaining the best quality/price ratio.
For us, the use of materials of outstanding quality is essential, both for an attractive sophisticated final appearance and in terms of the function of DEAGOURMET products, profoundly bound to food and its consumption.
Marie: What was your first impression of Discover Design? The International Home + Housewares Show in general?
MM: We found the International Home and Housewares Show interesting from every point of view. In a welcoming, positive, climate, we saw the commitment to smooth organization and the enthusiasm surrounding the various excellent satellite events, such as our participation in the Discover Design exhibition area. It was highly stimulating to contact International sales contexts and cultures that are so different from our own.
We were very excited by this new experience, which has given the DEAGOURMET brand excellent prospects for growing its foreign sales, both on the American market and internationally.
Marie: How do you see design impacting the housewares industry five years down the road? 10? Longer?
MM: I see contemporary design as multi-stylistic and continually producing hybrids. Thinking of the possible developments in Food Design, we first have to ask ourselves how our tastes are going to change over the next ten years and what tomorrow’s food will be like.
There is no doubt that we will be paying more and more attention to the environment, health, eco-compatibility and the importance of recyclable and organic materials. We will also feel the effects of new applied technologies, which will play a larger and larger part in our daily lives: stoves that decide how to cook, refrigerators that decide what we should eat, and utensils that inform us about foods’ main nutrients when they touch them to let us know whether or not they are right for our diet. These are just some factors that are pointing the way to new scenarios in the home environment, in terms of both food preparation and consumption.
Our company is always ready to respond to changes, and will be making its contribution to design. We will be developing products with the human touch that combine a whole variety of facets: innovation, function, emotion, health, environment and Italian food culture.
Marie: How did the Discover Design help to expand your brand?
MM: We knew that in America, like across the world, interest in Italian fine food and the correlated cooking and contemporary tableware products are growing significantly. We further accentuated this awareness of Italian style with the emphasis our display at the Discover Design exhibition succeeded in putting on the design and quality of our DEAGOURMET products.
Marie: What advice can you offer to designers working in the home goods field?
MM: They should make their business stand out from their competition by introducing creative, innovative products to the market, without emulating or copying other companies or competitors. This is the only way of creating a clear brand identity for themselves and their companies.
You can find the entire Inside Discover Design series here. If you have any questions about Discover Design at the 2012 International Home + Housewares Show, contact Marie Kulik at MKulik@housewares.org.