Ten years ago he invented the biodegradable Moscardino cutlery, which won the Gold Compass, and became part of the permanent exhibition at the MoMa in New York. Then, with his collective Eureka Coop project, he brought design to the large supermarket chains for the first time in Italy. After the exhibition in a Coop supermarket in Milan of 20 prototype home cleaning and laundry products, he took the objects on tour, where the public could vote for their favorites. Now 11 of the original 20 ideas presented are on sale at Coop supermarkets throughout the country.
Giulio Iacchetti brought a number of ambitious, highly conceptual projects for the international market to the 2011 Furniture Fair in Milan. At Fuorisalone, in the Diocesan Museum, he exhibits Cruciale. «It is a reflection on the symbol of the cross, a simple concept capable of triggering immense emotions. It is an object created from the union between vertical and horizontal lines, between the zenith and the azimuth, between innovative materials and recycled ones» says the designer. «This is also my reaction, primitive and basic, to the drift of a design that seems to search obsessively for details, where the language is more and more standardized and where esthetic rhymes with anesthetic». Which brings him to his pet peeve. «Italian design has become commonplace, a marketplace where everyone speaks a standardized language. Unfortunately, electronics has only amplified and exasperated the problem. What I want to do is take things back to the essentials» he adds.
Sobriety with diversification. He has a great many projects, actually. From April 11 to 23, in the courtyards of the University of Milan, Iacchetti presents a preview of his show Scriba. Here, the magazine Interni presents a collective exhibition of architects, international designers and businesses of excellence. And this is where he presents a true relic of pop art, a gigantic Moleskine notebook that becomes a meeting place. The setting is mutant, between analogical and digital. «The fulcrum of the project is the robot Kuka that, using a pen from the new collection, writes and draws on a huge blank page. The software is capable of sending information to the robotic arm, that writes and draws on the page with complex but accurate movements» explains Iacchetti. Writing, Travelling and Reading will be on sale at the Design Supermarket of Rinascente.
He also designed the Fontana di Atlantide (Atlantis Fountain). Thinking of the island of Neverland, «we designed a magnificent blue ceramic tower that describes the mysterious flow of water» says the designer. Other works? A bout de Souffle, in the Secession show; Independent Design: mouth-blown objects made from the material used for the mechanical inflation of bikers' canteens.
What next? «I'd like to design an electric motorbike and work for a company in my home town, Cremona. «Our work has concrete goals and requires enormous concentration. A lot of people think that brilliant ideas come to us magically, in a burst of radiant energy. But that's not how it works, that's just a romantic notion. In real life, designing means applying pencil to paper and moving it».