As Design Week descended upon New York City, AN sat down with Francesca Molteni, project manager for the Furniture by Gio Ponti collection, to talk about an exclusive line of furniture produced by Molteni&C, how the collection came to be, and an accompanying exhibition about the life and work of one of Italy’s most renowned designers.
How did the collection come about?
Paolo Scenti, the nephew of Ponti, had his uncle’s large bookcase in his photography studio while I was there for a visit, and a lightbulb went off; I wanted to produce his designs industrially. We started talking with the family and Salvatore Licitra, the Ponti archivist and grandson of Ponti, and started researching pieces from the past, mostly pieces from the ’50s and those from his home, as those were the ones he chose intimately. We also went to another archivist in Parma, where a university there is holding his art and architecture archives. Ponti was so prolifically productive; he left thousands of drawings, sketches, writings, and we had so much material from this we decided to launch an exhibition as well. I was smitten with the information because now you can see the real Ponti, not just his most famous work. It’s a more private view on his life and work—a wonderful occasion to closer to the man and the architect.
After the release of the new Organic Collection, designed by Philippe Starck for Axor/Hansgrohe, AN sat down with the head of the brand to talk about working with the designer, the technology behind the product, and Grohe’s formula for success.
How did Axor/Hansgrohe start working with Philippe Starck?
We started working with Philippe Starck in 1998 and it has always been a special relationship. I was very lucky because I followed my mother to the French part of Switzerland, so I speak both German and French. Not only does it help [Philippe and I] communicate [in French] but language is also culture. You think in a different way when speaking French versus German simply because of the structure of the language.