Friday, 12 August 2016

Behind the Label...

Paolo Guidotto - Architect & Designer at Retrobottega 

Why did you decide to become a designer?
It wasn’t a calculated choice. On the one hand, I think it depended on a natural inclination towards this discipline. In fact, even in childhood I had fun imagining and fantasizing on stories, spaces and objects. I passed days in this way. On the other hand, my family and in particular my father who is an architect. The home where I grew up, the visits to building sites, along with all the architectural magazines, books on art and design always present. All this input led me to take interest in this world. My “first love” however, was architecture. Thus, the decision to continue my education in Venice. My approach to design is only the need to experiment my own ideas, (vision/views) also in other fields that are related.

What was the last book that you read?
I confess that I’m not an avid reader. One thing I love however, is reading when on vacation (unfortunately brief): a true relaxing moment. On the contrary, during the year I surf the Net, constantly surf, and continue to surf between news, stories, books in the world on-line. Whereas, one thing I really love most, is re reading. In fact, at the moment, I’m re-reading “Il Piccolo Principe”. A book that, in its’ simplicity, is always able to open-up new perspectives. This is the reason why I like re-reading. It permits to fully comprehend a literary work, understanding the various aspects. Curiosity fascinates me.

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
Fundamentally from everything that surrounds me: objects, persons, dialogues, stories. Subsequently, intellectual and technical knowledge that I daily acquire and thoroughly look into, do the rest: give substance to creativity (flair, whim, natural bent). 

Do you have a signature dish, when entertaining?
Definitely, a plate of “spaghetti alle vongole”, (du spaghi). Dish that I love. It reminds me of diners with family, vacations at the sea, and most of all, of summer, the season that I adore, along with winter. Above all, and according to my friends, they are always a success.


What’s your favorite piece that you have designed?
Linea. A floor lamp with simplicity of line (essential lines), that has the capability to transform and fill a space where it’s placed. It’s one of the first pieces thought out, developed and made in our workshop. The first piece that succeeded in making obvious what Retrobottega is.

Which is your favorite colour?
There are several colors that I like; green, blue, yellow. In particular, however, I really like gray and its’ 
different chromatic scales; from anthracite all the way to greige (gray + beige). A color of strong identity 
capable of giving distinctive (particular, unusual) atmosphere. But, above all, makes very nice combinations with other colors: which is its’ best quality. 

Besides design and architecture do you have any other interest?
I’m a sport enthusiast in general. Like almost all good Italians, soccer is my real passion. I love music and movies.

Do you have any pets?
At the moment no. I do have fond memories during my childhood of two goldfish. In fact, I’m thinking of having them again. The problem is where to position the fish bowl....lets just say I’m working on it.

If you could say you designed any building in the world, which one would it be and why?
I’m thinking of an architecture that influenced me a great deal, Cadenazzo home by Mario Botta. A work where the influence of Louis Kahn and roman architecture are strong. Where a concept, that for me is the basis of architecture is very clear, space, void (emptiness) is the only true protagonist.

What are you currently listening to?
I’m always listening to music. The type of music varies according to the time of the day. For example, in the early morning I prefer classical music, rather than jazz. After that, I indulge my whims: pop, electronic, Italian etc. etc.. Every once in a while, I can listen to a musical piece over and over again, even up to a hundred times uninterruptedly.

What’s next for Retrobottega?
The plan is to promote our activity: on and off-line, global and local. We’ve just completed our web site,of which I’m quite pleased: Furthermore, we would like to go ahead with the activity of the concept store. An experience that we’ve already tried with Elisa Tommasi of GeneriMisti and together with Yayoi Nakanishi of Wazars.In October we will be in Venice, within the event Venice Design Week, specifically will be present in the exhibition, Light Emphasizes 2016, with our floor lamp Linea. Most of all, to continue with ideas, to design them and to create pieces with a high-grade of innovation and precise identity: minimal, industrial,handmade.