We have been working together for 20 years – more than 20 years – Carlo has been working for 55 years and has never stopped….
We have tried to convince him to retire, but he just won’t listen to us!
The fact is that this is a lifestyle, because my job, this job, has always been the joy of my life. I cannot imagine myself as a pensioner and I must say that this is still a wonderful job.
You can scrap what I am saying when I have finished!
Bartoli design…….we could say we are three musketeers, but we do have a staff of collaborators we have been working with for years; we do a lot of work with prototypes and we have a laboratory here in our studio.
Let’s say that the studio is small; it’s like a workshop in which we all work on the same projects at the same time, and the projects are almost always the result of teamwork.
Since our job is focused on design and architecture, this aspect – this double activity – was important enough to stimulate us and give our job a special bent that comes from our experience as architects.
Many tables and chairs really portray recurring topics because we have designed some successful products and company’s – rightly or wrongly – come and ask us for the same type of product again.
Let’s say that we have the mindset of architects – we have a degree in architecture – and this duality consisting in architecture and design has allowed us to switch from bathroom furniture to buildings, giving us the freedom to work in many fields.
Let’s stop and talk about how it started for a minute, about when they hadn’t arrived yet, when they weren’t even siblings….I was an architect, the studio started off as an architect’s studio, working as architects used to work, like a student who gradually became an architect.
The shift to design came naturally to me, partly because of the disappointments experienced with architecture and partly for a matter of instinct more than of need. Then, as time went by, this trend, this seed that consisted in working with design, started to grow in an almost casual way and developed into a fantastic phase that seemed very difficult at the time but was extremely easy in comparison with what’s happening today.
I started to design in a particularly fruitful period. In fact, Italian design started to take shape and become substantial around the ‘60s – I have been really lucky from this point of view because I was in the right place at the right time – the right place in Brianza, because I remember artisans coming up to me and saying: “Design something for me”, and I would ask them: “What do you want me to design?”
The designer used to focus on the product, on its physical development: nowadays, everyone talks about strategies, lifestyles and marketing because the product does not have a life of its own but exists in a context, which makes taking all its surroundings into account fundamental.
Somehow, we have to stop and think of how to enhance the value of products: How? By telling stories, by building the right context around a product so that the work performed by the designer and by the company can be appreciated.
In the beginning the shapes were studied, together with the technology to manufacture them and how they would be used to meet certain tangible needs. The products had to be designed because they were missing. To express this in words: shapes have their own meaning.
The sympathy that reigns between us and the three people we have been working with the longest is important because they have complementary skills and work in harmony with us, making our design process flow easily.
What about the context? We are near Milan which means…..people say that Milan is the powerhouse of design……I don’t know whether Milan really is the fulcrum of design today, but I think that having been immersed in the atmosphere here at different moments in time, more recently in our case, has given our job as designers a distinctive mark.
We are slowly collecting the material to write a book.