Design and the virus emergency: what remains and what changes

A mix of technicality and creativity, their projects are faithful to the principle of “Design for All”, understood as accessibility to products but also as sharing, at a time during which reciprocity is perhaps the greatest duty. From the collaboration between Favaretto & Partners and B—Line, the Fishbone shelf was born. In steel and with a multi-layered wood back, its shape evokes a herringbone and can be installed on walls with differing angles, creating multiple and highly functional combinations. Then came Helix, a chair inspired by vintage aircraft dating back to the early 1900s. Whether in the total wood version or with fabric seat, it flaunts a sinuous and dynamic silhouette that lends itself to a number of varying environments.

Francesco Favaretto, co-author of the B—Line projects, shares in this brief interview, his idea regarding the Design-Covid theme, and tells us what remains and what changes…

What is your emotional reaction, and how are you living this period from a personal and professional viewpoint?

Right now, on a personal and emotional level, I must admit that while on the one hand I am saddened and dispirited – and naturally helpless – on the other, considering what is happening throughout the world, I am relatively tranquil because I am managing to spend a lot of time with my family and my son. This hasn’t happened for ages! It has now been at least 5 years since I’ve been able to spend more than 20 days in a row at home, always being somewhere around the world or aboard a plane.

Speaking of work however, what has changed in the approach to new projects?

At working level, our approach has remained unchanged and the studio never lost a day, not even during the March lockdown.
Fortunately and “thanks” to my constant wanderings around the world, my team has a flexibility that has been well established over several years where smart working is concerned. I’ve always been aware that, especially for creatives such as we are, being able to work any and everywhere, is a great asset!
We therefore continued with the projects in progress, as well as with the new ones acquired during the specific stop imposed on our businesses.

Generally speaking, have the ways of designing and relating with companies changed?

Honestly, I don’t think the ways have changed, but certainly relationships with companies and with what the “Light Design” actually is, have adapted.
When I speak of “Design system”, I mean everything behind, alongside, above and beneath a product.
Everything that went, until yesterday, from the day you presented your idea to the company, the prototyping, up to its big launching party at the Trade Fair and at the “Fuori Salone” event. All this, I must say, has changed and I think will drastically continue to do so for the future as well.
Something I sincerely hope, is that this pandemic will have bestowed upon us all, or at least left us with, some degree of “wisdom”, encompassing our businesses as well. I hope that this epochal moment will not soon be forgotten but that it will remain imprinted within our souls. That we designers will be able to design less but better, and not necessarily follow fashion fads and market “demands”, and that we will be able to return to “global” logic.

Design und der Virus: Was bleibt und was ändert sich