Giovanni Di Bernardo: I hope to be copied

LifestyleAsia Date: 01 Feb 2012

Interview with the Italian industrial furniture designer

Describing his designs as pure, light and airy, Giovanni di Bernardo was in Hong Kong last week to showcase his latest exhibition entitled "Black Revolution" at the Fringe Club.

"The name Black Revolution comes from an article first published in the '80s about how carbon fibre was revolutionising the car and ship industry," explained Di Bernardo through his interpreter.

"I use it in my designs today because it's similar to titanium in jewellery. It makes everything light and durable, so I decided to take it and apply it to domestic designs."

Despite the name of his exhibition, not all of Di Bernardo's first self-branded collection is made out of the conventionally industrial material, as he has no intention of promoting himself as "the carbon fibre guy".

"I only use [carbon fibre] when it's at its best," he says, gesturing towards one of his more popular designs, Angel -- a sleek, snake-like cylindrical shelf. "For the rest, I use materials like resin, plywood, iron and so on."

Born and raised in Palermo, Italy, Di Bernardo studied architecture before specialising in industrial design at the Domus Academy of Milano. When asked what his favourite thing was to design, he paused before replying, "I was basically born as a light designer, but I love every aspect of interior design."

"Lamps always have an advantage because when it's turned on, it's a light, but the moment you switch it off, it can be something else. On the other hand, a chair is always a chair."

Perhaps this is the reason why many of his pieces are designed to be multi-functional, like the Ring chair that can be used as a side table with storage space underneath, and the Danilau lounge chair, which turns into a table when flipped over.

Read the full interview with Giovanni Di Bernado on

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