10 Questions: Laura Polinoro

ALESSI3 Laura Polinoro, LPWK’s Art Director working for ALESSI S.p.A. , who created over 400 products for this company, explains some details of her precious work for this “Italian Factory of Design”.  Specifically, Laura Polinoro has been the head of the Alessi Study Center (“CSA”) since 1990, working as a meta-project Designer besides being Art Director.  She regularly meets with the company’s chiefs to focus on strategy and positioning. They brainstorm on where the company is at the moment and future strategies. Mrs. Polinoro listens to the company’s needs, and then creates a meta-project to develop a new product line, thus enabling the company to explore new horizons and ideas. Alessi is a company in the Luxury goods segment, always present in events such as il Salone del Mobile di Milano. What are the key strategic drivers for the development of this brand’s products? We work on meta projects that reveal new imaginaries, by focusing on some key elements such as new lifestyle needs based on observation of everyday life, new needs and possibilities to satisfy these needs keeping in mind trends in fashion, arts and graphics. Another important aspect is to always keep in mind the past and be able to reinterpret it according to the present. ALESSI1 And how do you program collections? Usually we program collections one year ahead. We observe trends and the key elements explained before and brainstorm on which products we can carry on also according to budget and feasibility. Could you explain briefly how a product is created and the role of Laura Polinoro LPWK Studio? Sure, I have my own brand Laura Polinoro LPWK Studio, and I develop collections for ALESSI, with a coherent set of values of the brand. We start with a metaproject, then organize workshops to develop the collection, along with names and packaging. Once the collection is ready we launch it and take care of the communication. What about your thoughts on the development of young talents and new Designers? Do you work with them also when creating collections? As a matter of fact I do, I believe it is important to allow young Designers to emerge and bring new and fresh ideas that can give an added value in terms of novelty and new interpretations of lifestyle and needs. When we launch workshops I actually work with Students or young Designers to develop collections. In the near future I will launch a new project on the web for teenagers, in order to work with an even younger range of students and understand their thoughts and needs and develop collections with them. You spoke about young Designers and the Web, two very important aspects in today’s world. How do you select these young talents and which role does the digital aspect have in this process? I believe the digital aspect is very important in terms of communication, and it can be used to select new talents as well. In the past year and a half I launched design contests on the web, such as “ALESSI in Love” for ALESSI and “#Concrete in Design”in collaboration with Italcementi S.p.A., to select young talents to engage for my LPWK workshops in order to develop new collections with them. The results are great, besides getting to know these young talents and having a nice time, we are able to do an interesting brainstorming in which we exchange ideas, know-how, and solutions which lead to interesting products to propose to companies. Moreover, very soon I am going to launch a blog on my activity divided in 52 episodes which will go on for a year, and will be presented at next year’s Salone del Mobile. The blog will explain my metaprojects, have interviews, pictures and other interesting contents. That’s great to hear. How about the EXPO? What are your thought on this and how is your collection “Souvenir d’Italie” going?ALESSI The EXPO is a great opportunity for Italy in general, hopefully we have some benefits from it. Yes we created “Souvenir d’Italie” last July and presented this collection made up of three little statues that represent Italy in February just for EXPO. It took only seven months to develop it, a record basically since usually it takes a year! (Mrs. Polinoro invites to take a look at this link to have more information: http://living.corriere.it/arredamento/complementi/2015/souvenir-d-italie-statuine-decorative-di-alessi-per-expo-2015-50299421570.shtml ). One last question, what is the role of made in Italy in today’s world and in ALESSI products? Made in Italy is a know-how, the most important thing is this, and Italian products are represented by italian know-how. It is important to communicate this internationally through blogs or other channels to promote our products, using English language and being active in digital. Good point! Thank you very much Mrs. Polinoro, it was a pleasure! Thank you! Interview done by Fabiana Allinio and Catarine Cantamessa Source: http://www.laurapolinoro.com; http://www.alessi.com;  interview

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