A constant that I have noticed in a career span of over 20 years in the kitchen furniture design industry is the fact that fashion is changing, there is a type of seasonality, both predictable and surprising. We have not yet been able to understand what are the mechanisms underlying the trends, who is the puppeteer hiding in the dark and playing with our senses, but we do not look for the occult among the obvious.
In terms of design, I feel the loss of people’s individuality in customisation as effect of rampant industrialisation. We live in an age of conveyor belt production, series production, quantity production, automated production, non-stop production. In a sense, the staff has become a collective. I’m not trying to ramble on in an anti-consumerism manifesto, but somewhere along the way we became estranged from the individual personality of design.
During ’90s Romania, fashion was varied, with many styles to explore, and everyone tried to mix with a lot of courage and create their own style. It was the madness of “warmth”, everything had to be warm and full of life. I was suffering then because I often came to some moods that were too sweet and crowded. I loved the minimal (minimalism) and at that time it was a new “thing” that seemed to travel only in high places. And I remember that it was very difficult to find grey colours, because no one manufactured grey furniture.
In the world of kitchens, it was the time of the combination of beige with cherry, possibly with a yellow and blue ceramic tiles. The maximum of luxury-value was to buy a Ferrari Red kitchen, glossy and “curved”.
But still, in those days there were still complementary colours in the decorative objects: books, a lamp, a rug, a work of art, a vase of flowers, a bowl of fruit. People spoke in chromatic language. Or at least they tried, and that was the delight of life!
Wenge! First Wenge + Beige, then Wenge + White. Not bad at all! Then Wenge became more and more black, and the fact is that Wenge, as a tree species, is a very light coloured wood (!). And finally Grigio Tortora / Dove Grey appeared and from this point it seemed to start to get cold in the world of design.
Nowadays, everyone demands “minimalism”, and not a balanced minimalism, but one taken to the extreme. Not only cold, but especially sterile. Only Black and White with “bold” accents of Grey. Wenge is already something with too much life, it’s nonetheless wood!
No wood, no stone, no color, no shape, no seasoning. Like a food without a bit of sweet, salty, sour, bitter or spicy… without flavour! No emotion, no personality!
Decades ago, Peggy Guggenheim thought of the interiors of her Venetian palazzo according to the style of the art collection in each room. Nowadays, austere spaces are often favored in interior design, people have even given up decorating the walls with works of art or personal photos. You don’t need a painting by Juan Miró or an original Henri Matisse, but you can print and frame a high-quality poster at the Print Shop on the corner. What good is it to print a photo from your phone when we have Instagram? The list can also continue in terms of art objects or installations.