They say time flies when you’re having fun. Judging by how fast the last year went for Vincent Van Duysen, creative director of Molteni&C | Dada, there’s no doubt that the partnership between the Italian brand and Belgian architect was a match made in design heaven. We caught up with the designer at Salone del Mobile earlier this year.
The Camden seating collection
I learned the Italian way of living as a young architect. Everything here is dedicated to beauty and I admire that. I feel there must be some Mediterranean blood in my veins.
When Molteni&C approached me to be creative director in 2016, it was a true honour. As an architect, I concentrate on creating atmospheres and spaces with people at the core. The DNA of Molteni&C is all about creating beauty with people’s wellbeing in mind. The common ground and chemistry were there right from the beginning and looking at the achievements in the past year, I feel it’s been a success so far. It has been a really constructive collaboration – I put a smile on their faces and likewise they do on mine. And it’s only the beginning.
The main concept this year was to create a new “Molteni home”. Space, light and a strong connection to the environment are the main elements that are important to me as an architect, and also what we wanted to reflect in the [Salone del Mobile] booth as well as the showrooms.
Molteni&C at Salone del Mobile 2017
I like purity of form and for my work to have integrity. There is a conservative part in my thinking. I’m not the type who likes hype, spectacle or anything in your face. Deconstructing and reinterpreting classical forms is something I like doing, but always with respect in mind. For example, with a sofa I would only play with subtle things like stitching and the dimension. In the end, my goal is to create things for people and not for myself.
Given my hectic travel schedule, the spaces that speak to me most are hotel rooms. I’ve had my own room at The Mercer in New York since its opening, while in Milan I always stay at the same corner room at the Park Hyatt. It overlooks the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, which is like a living painting. I like seeing the city wake up and fall asleep. I guess it’s about finding comfort in a space. It might be cliche, but the best example I can think of is my own home in Antwerp. It’s a place where I can really calm down. At work, I always think of how to create sensual, tactile spaces, so it’s equally important to have a space that calms down the senses. That for me is my own home.
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