Raffaello Galiotto is a top commercial outdoor furniture designer and art director who is spearheading creative thinking and innovation within the industry. We spoke to him during Milan Furniture Fair 2022 to understand more about how unique commercial outdoor furniture products are created and the journey that is taken to reach an end result that makes an impact on a global scale.
Q1: The Project. Before you start designing a new collection for outdoor commercial furniture, how do you find your inspiration?
Usually, inspiration does not follow a linear path but a zigzag path, between external stimuli and the complex characteristics of our thinking. In the case of design projects, the idea arises from observing people's behaviour, needs, and desire to be outdoors. Inspiration, however, is not enough, then a long project development work is needed, during which the idea takes shape requiring continuous creative solutions.
Q2: Outdoor Furniture Materials. Once you have your inspiration in place, how do you select the materials?
The choice of material is part of the project itself. Sometimes it is determined first and sometimes later, depending on the case. In the majority of projects the material conditions and directs the project both by its physical characteristics and by the production process that characterizes it.
Q3. The Product. With a focus on outdoor commercial chairs you have previously designed some amazing modern, contemporary pieces. When you get a new brief how do you start to design a new product? What process do you go through and how many design ideas do you go through before you get to a product you are happy with?
The design of a chair or other product follows a long process of multiple attempts and fine-tuning. Today, computerized design, 3d drawing, rendering, structural calculations, and prototyping with 3d printing help us to better centre the final result of the project. On the other hand, time and error margins have been reduced.
Q4: The End Result. How do you feel when you see your designs being used in a hospitality venue, within an interior design that works well?
Seeing the product at the place of use and at a distance of time is satisfaction and further proof of the goodness of the project. For better or worse. I personally consider a project successful when it returns a positive, pleasant feeling to me after some time. It is sincere, candid evidence to which I attach great importance.
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