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Mandi Keighran talks to Nitzan Cohen of Studio Nitzan Cohen and art director of Mattiazzi.
On the new ‘Solo’ range for Mattiazzi
This year we are launching ‘Solo’ for Mattiazzi. What we tried to do was make a simple, uncomplicated chair – to make the ultimate cost to return ratio. We had to be very tight and concentrated in what we could and couldn’t do.
Because we use stains and each piece is dipped, you can never know what’s going to come out. Sometimes you think it’s going to be really nice and it’s awful, sometimes it’s a surprise, like the electric blue with the wood grain. It has so much depth because the colour is translucent. If you had to make a drawing, you would darken the edges and this is what happens in a natural way with the light because of the round profile.
People can use the chairs however they see them. They could be in a bar, a café, or a school canteen. With the leather detailing it gives a whole other feel.
I was standing here yesterday with Sam Hecht, who has also designed for Mattiazzi, and he said ‘I really love it! I want to buy it!’ That’s a really nice, really honest response.
This whole collection for Mattiazzi started with the ‘He Said She Said’ series 4 years ago. It’s a very young collection. Mattiazzi is actually a producer of wooden furniture. They have been producing for other companies for about 40 years. They had this nice idea to be less dependent on the market, have fun with design and make their own collection. Then they came to me. I continued working with them as an art director, together with a graphic designer from Berlin. I also do some of the design (‘He Said She Said’ and ‘Solo’). I have 2 hats.
The response to Mattiazzi is super positive. It’s a small project that in a very short time has got a lot of acknowledgement. It means a lot being here, in this hall, in this position – it is very hard to get this spot.
On sustainability and Mattiazzi
Mattiazzi is originally a producer. There’s a tradition, a way of doing, an incredible know-how. As a producer, you don’t think about trends or market, you just have your efficiency and logic. The nicest thing about being environmental is that it makes sense. They have been doing it for years, just because it makes sense.
On the importance of long-term relationships
There was a small group of designers – Sam Hecht, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Konstantin Grcic – we wanted to work with. We did round one and the second round has started again.
The idea is to make a long-term connection with designers. There are a lot of labels with money and a huge list of must-have designers. They do one thing with them and that’s it. It’s not interesting. Not that what they are doing is wrong, just for me, for my own logic, it doesn’t make sense.
Not to be too philosophical, but in the end it’s a relationship you have with people. With this company, it’s very complex. The more you work together, the more you understand the problems and then the possibilities. Things get more interesting.
Mattiazzi is available from Herman Miller and carried in Singapore through Xtra.