Interview / Vito Nesta

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The period of lock down faced in previous months was for many a period of reflection on personal  life, work and future. We spoke about these challenges and the future inspiration with Vito Nesta, Italian designer with passion for travel, who brought the beauty of distant lands into our homes.   


Vito, what is your mood these days, regarding the lock down and restrictions we all meet on a daily basis? Is this for you time to rest or you try to maintain the working mood as usual? Did you meet any constraints in your work, that you think would last in the following months?

During the time of the pause I dedicated time to think about new projects, I worked with my students remotely, I participated in a competition and I reflected on my future. I think that if this pandemic had not happened, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to reflect on things, very often I am overwhelmed by the incessant evolution of the work and everyday life, having little time to think about my existence. In work, after total closure, everything is slowly coming back to normal. In the following months I think we will work even more to go back to normal.


Do you think that changes in everyday habits would impact the future or is it just a temporary state?

For sure this pandemic has indicated new habits, a different way of living an everyday life. From now on there will be a new era, a new way of living and relating to others.

And what about the exhibitions and events? Major events like fairs are postponed for 2021, so what could, in your opinion, be the future of trade fairs? Will they maintain their importance?

Fairs and events are crucial for a company, for these are the places where new clients and new work opportunities are met. From now on many of them will invest in digital, using it as the primary resource to sell their products and meet new clients, but the fairs will remain important platforms for business.

Is there a possibility that your work and marketing process will have to be changed in order to overpass the consequences of the pandemic? And how the relation with clients and your brand presentation has been changed?

During the emergency the relationship with many of my clients was intensified, we were writing each other showing solidarity and will to start again, wishing each other better and more than before. It has always been true for me, but from now on I think it is essential to establish maximum loyalty in relationships between the company and the customer.

You are a designer dedicated to different media and design products. What is among them all your greatest challenge?

The greatest challenge is the one that has yet to come. Each new project is a closed box with new challenges inside, it is important to know how to take it and take the advantage of it in order to grow and mature, personally and professionally.

One of your most recognizable works is the collection Grand Tour, a large ensemble of various objects for home – plates, cups, bowls, vases, decorative objects, textiles... and it’s been growing through time. How was this idea born?

The brand Grand Tour was born in January 2018, while presenting two collections at Maison et Objet in Paris. I have always been fascinated with voyages as a means of inspiration and language, through the story, for my work. With my brand I wanted to tell about the distant worlds, ethnic groups, dreamlike landscapes and cultures poised in between reality and imagination, with means of decoration transferred into object of everyday use. The name, on the other hand, is inspired by voyages young European aristocrats were carrying out during the 1700s to refine their knowledge.


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Will the collection grow further in future? Is it a kind of project you are constantly working on, or it grows spontaneously, when ideas occur?

The collection will continue to grow because there are myriads of places and stories to tell. Some collections are born from desire to describe the place, others are born from the clients’ requests.

 

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The pieces from the Grand Tour collection were also used as the part of the site-specific installation ‘Musica da viaggio,’ in Giuseppe Verdi’s room in the Grand Hotel in Milan. How did it become the part of the exhibition and what did it look like to meet the space unknown to the public, where grande Maestro lived for 30 years?

Working in this space was perhaps the most intense emotion I’ve ever had in my work. These rooms are full of stories and working there was obviously very complex, then I got into empathy and everything was easy. For the exhibition, two amphora vases that resume two statues present in the interior of the Grand Hotel were edited, one dedicated to the end of slavery in Brasil and the other presenting a black man holding a torch, and further a collection of dishes that tell about Milan through materials found inside the hotel. Also, fundamental was work with leathers of Bonaudo who sponsored and made the exhibition possible. The colors of chosen leathers, from the infinite range that the company offers in its catalogue, allowed me to work with colors that weren’t found in the room, defining in a better way the antique space with my intervention.


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And what’s the next destination of your Grand Tour? And in your work in general?

The next stop is Amami, the archipelago of islands situated in Japan south of Kyushu island where a coral reef is located, and I will tell this story with a collection of fish swimming among green water corals. Besides this, there are very particular poufs and objects made of blown glass. With time, I would like to create a collection that includes pieces from plate to furnishings.

Images: Courtesy of Vito Nesta