First comes thought, then comes form. This space is dedicated to the things that breathe life into our projects, offering thoughts and images to take you behind the scenes of what we do.

A Manifesto

Ten Things to Think About When it Comes to Design Valentina Del Ciotto and Simone Spalvieri

1
LIVE SLOW TO THINK QUICK

We seek slowness, both in life and in design. The best ideas come into being when you have the time to think, to reflect, make mistakes and correct them. Today, making mistakes is considered a luxury we cannot afford, and yet it’s the only way to understand and improve.

2
RESPECT NATURE

We consciously choose what we eat, what we breathe, what we design, and what we put into production. We feel that we are part of nature; we care about our surroundings as much as we care about ourselves. Design can and should do a lot to raise industry awareness about this stuff.

3
SIMPLIFY COMPLEXITY

We want to bring design into everyday life. We strive to make the most innovative products and materials understandable and usable.

4
FIRST THOUGHT, THEN FORM

We are uninterested in a style with a dominant aesthetic. We want our objects to be recognized primarily for the thought behind them rather than their form.

5
DESIGN IS INNOVATION

Through design, we can redefine the canons of beauty and quality, rather than merely regurgitating the already seen and tried, which are more immediate to convey. It’s more difficult and risky to imagine the future than repeat the past; we want to take that risk.

6
PRACTICE CHANGE

As well as theorizing change, we believe it’s vital to act tangibly, through the design of high- quality objects. It’s important to work up close and personal with companies to promote and push good design practice, even if that means running the risk of not achieving the goals you’ve set yourself. Criticizing the system from the outside, without fully understanding its industrial and commercial dynamics, is usually a sterile exercise.

7
BESPOKE DESIGN

The right projects are usually the ones to emerge from deep knowledge of the company you’re working for, knowledge about the production technologies it uses, its markets, the skills of the people who work there. A good design emerges when designer and company share common intent.

8
COMMUNICATING THROUGH MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGIES

Materials and technologies are the vocabulary we use to write new stories. Starting with the form and only afterwards seeking materials and production methods would for us be design in reverse.

9
THE DESIGNER AS A COG IN A COMPLEX SYSTEM

Our profession is increasingly moving away from the authorial work of the recent past. Industrial products are so complex that it takes teamwork in which different skillsets intersect. Often, our role is to be the professional figure with the expertise to work with the most complex of management figures, to bring leading-edge content inside a company and foster high-quality design.

10
ONGOING IMPROVEMENT

For us, to design is to raise the quality bar of whatever we’re designing, pursuing an approach that is based on the ongoing refinement of functional, aesthetic and productive characteristics.

A book

Edited by Francesca Picchi and published by Quodlibet, “Spalvieri & Del Ciotto. Slow” is the first book on our work. This is about objects and thoughts and conveys our approach to design and life. We are glad to share a little something about who we are, and to do it via a medium that is… slow!

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TEDX Talk

Some of our reflections on the theme “Design together”.

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