Fabrizio Milesi

“In the meantime that…” as Cristina Comencini said, it is our middle time, in which we must understand how to return to normality through new ways of private and social life.

The fact that none of us imagined that this could happen, this must make us reflect even more about the extent of the possible change.

I cannot not express some considerations regarding this complimentary historical moment, considering that CIAM works to serve the HO.RE.CA. world and therefore conviviality, that way of life that today has been cancelled by the rules of social distancing. I believe, as many do, that every difficult event carries with it great potential for analysis and improvement; from this time, when we had to keep still, I understood the value of quietness with respect to the fast manner of doing things. This does not mean remaining inactive, but being able to read the things around us by giving them the right value. It means considering other possible ways of living within the domestic space, in the cities and sharing and interaction between people. It is a great and rare opportunity. Surely, as with all the great historical events, we will go through a phase of metabolization and the stories that accompany this period will be re-read and re-written. At the moment I can sense in people the will to give a positive sense to the experience we are living, in order to turn this tragedy into a force to move forward and start again.

I believe, unfortunately, that all this positive drive will be partly slowed down, because economic practices within our societies are much more complicated than a virus and this is the thing that worries me the most right now; we know very well, in fact, that the attempt will be to bring back the economy and its structure as before, using the same recipes. I hope, of course, that there will be an economic recovery, but at the same time I hope that it will be possible to understand the reasons that have led us to this point, with a particular focus on ecological issues.

This issue can no longer wait for long solutions as it has been until now. This historical moment has showed the ability of facing the reality in danger reacting in short time with drastic measures that involved a collective sense of sacrifice that immediately produced a positive result.

 If we all looked at the numbers of emergencies today, we would understand that sustainability can no longer wait.

It has been only five years of work, but the extent of the change we have been able to achieve project by project has been really strong and engaging. 

I like to use this term because, apart from the property that clearly believed in this path, all the people who work in the company on a daily basis have understood the importance of the new course with design at its core, supporting it with a new awareness that product excellence is the real strength of the results we want to achieve. The new awareness involves a constant technological, aesthetic and sustainable research of products and the company in general, communication through partners and innovative tools, participation and organization of events and performances.

Today it is a machine that moves constantly trying to understand and then find solutions that meet contemporary needs of the food world that is becoming increasingly important in the aesthetic and commercial logic on international markets. 

The new relationship between design and food.

A very complicated question, considering the moment we are living in. The answer can only refer to pre-covid19; how this relationship will change in the future we are still trying to understand and imagine it. I believe that the strong relationship between design and food has grown, becoming essential, as the world of hospitality in general has increasingly evolved and approached the needs of visibility, experience and human connection of international fashion brands, absolute researchers of our society not only in the areas of taste but also in the vision and connections between apparently far away worlds. From that moment on, food has been explored, through design, to become also, thanks to the strong media push, the renewed expression of perfection in research between tradition and innovation, often contaminated by far and opposite worlds. Each one of them has developed its own aesthetic and expressive research through the design of every element connected to the world of food, searching for more and more efficient and innovative materials.

Today food has found in design, not only its image related to the design of spaces but also the expressive form of food itself; I like to remember the performance that CIAM, together with Francesca Sarti (food designer), founder of Arabeschi di latte, thought for Milano Design Week 2019 in the Alcova space published in the n.0 of I AM.

Materials research is the basis of CIAM’s new course.

The Move16 horizontal refrigerated display case, conceived and developed during 2016, which inaugurated the new art direction, already had two objectives in its initial idea; on one hand the strong aesthetic reduction of the sign and on the other hand the desire to hide stainless steel from view , which has always been the main material for all manufacturers of refrigerated furniture. In this specific case the display case was tested and presented with an epoxy resin finish applied inside the refrigerated glass structure of the case.

This strongly materic aspect contributed to make more softer the whole perceived, and allowed the chromatic characterization of the product making it customizable by the designers who decided to use it in their projects. From then on, I always tried to look beyond the ordinary, gradually adding to all products a series of materials born as finishes for other design areas. I am referring to wallpapers, to the new low thickness porcelain stoneware slabs, to epoxy resins with various materic and chromatic finishes and last but not least the use of synthetic materials that are now increasingly eco-sustainable. All this research has implemented the traditional materioteca based on natural materials, stone, marble and wood. 

This new approach, in my opinion, visually shows the products apparently lacking of technology and not related to ‘cold’ functional machines, but on the other hand brings them closer and closer to furniture design.

I like very much the fact that inside the new CIAM products there is always an innovative technology that remains hidden and mitigated by the contemporaneity of the rigorous shapes; I believe that today is the real difference and the real global value of the products we think…it seems that we have suddenly taken away their primary technological function to make them become something else.