LUXURYCULTURE.COM - Giampiero Bosoni: Authenticity + Curiosity = Great Design


The architect, author, professor and design historian Giampiero Bosoni believes that the key to good design lies not in a particular style but rather in a particular attitude. He shares his memories of some of the world’s most important designers.

“Why did I select Giampiero Bosoni? I'm fascinated by his deep knowledge of the history of design and the simple way in which he tells what he knows. He’s a simple, discreet person, close to real life.”
- Gabriele Pezzini

How to teach great design? How to educate the next generation of creatives in the history of aesthetics? These are not questions considered by your average architect yet for Giampiero Bosoni they are of supreme importance. An architect in his own right, it is Bosoni’s work as an Associate Professor of Interior Architecture in the Faculty of Design at the Polytechnic University of Milan, and as a curator and author of several important monographs, that distinguishes him as an influential personality in the design world.

An expert in particular in Italian design – he wrote the famous book Il Modo Italiano: Italian Design and Avant-garde in the 20th Century – Bosni believes that great design is not related to a particular style. “Authenticity is the great quality of work well done,” he says of the definition of good design. By way of explanation, he offers a personal anecdote: “I knew Ettore Sottsass, who showed me that an object can be very strong, very iconic and very figurative. On the other side, Enzo Mari designs completely differently. Yet the two artists, in spite of their differences, recognized the same quality in each other.”

This is just one of several stories that Bosoni has to tell about some of the world’s greatest designers that he has met. “I always say to my students that when we open a book of history and find characters who inspire us, it is necessary to try to meet them,” he comments. It is an unorthodox attitude to learning, but was the way he taught himself: “When I was 20 years old, I worked with the architect Vittorio Gregoti. I met people who had met people, people who had met Antonio Gaudi for example.” It is also a system that is proven to work. “I remember a student of mine, Paola Antonelli, always raising her hand with questions. She is now the curator of architecture and design at New York's Museum of Modern Art. Curiosity enabled her to advance.”

Indeed, it is this thirst for knowledge that Bosoni refers to that he believes is the most important quality for a designer to possess. “Curiosity is fundamental. It is an engine. It is the principle system to discover things. As Enzo Mari used to say to me, ‘If you are not curious, then change jobs.’ Without it, you cannot be a designer.”

What is your definition of luxury?
For me luxury can be two things: time, stability and quality of life, and then also high quality objects, objects that can be described as exceptional.

A work of art because they possess the future and the evolution of ideas.

People who managed to accomplish everything they wanted to do, in a natural way and with authenticity.

The moment when you can say that all your quests, all the things you wanted to create are going to be done and built.


Related Articles

Gabriele Pezzini: Thinker not Designer
Ettore Sottsass: A Life in Design
Che Fare (What To Do): Enzo Mari and Gabriele Pezzini