The Imperfect Character of Lanzavecchia + Wai
A design studio set between Italy and Singapore, interview with Francesca Lanzavecchia.
by Porzia Bergamasco
Francesca Lanzavecchia and Hunn Wai are considered to be the new voice of their generation when it comes to international design. Active since 2009, the young talents have already received countless awards while exhibiting their work in a number of galleries worldwide, as well as collaborating with many companies. They are devoted to the correct definition of the word designer, and to them it essentially means also being researchers, engineers, artisans and storytellers. They have endless curiosity for the processes and make extra effort to respect geographical and traditional identities within the contemporary. We spoke about Lanzavecchia + Wai’s new projects on top of other topics such as travel, love of furnishings and design.
ARTEMEST: One foot in Italy and one in Singapore. You are always on the go and it seems to be a prime ingredient of the energy and flexibility that exists within your work…
FRANCESCA LANZAVECCHIA: Our careers were built around travel. We still hold some stability (I am mainly in Italy and Hunn in Singapore), we follow the work. We never meet in the same places, it can be the States, Hong Kong, Switzerland or even Indonesia.
A: These are all places in which you have on going collaborations. The collections must tend to have a very strong and specific identity…
FL: Yes, although I can’t tell much right now, I can only say that we will be launching a new collection in September called L+W x JE together with Indonesian brand Journey East. We are naming it PlayPlay for its fresh and fun character, sometimes ironic, pop, and very colorful. It’s for happy people and suits the personality of the people that commissioned it. We looked at the project from 360°, including logo, photo shoots, web design and press.
A: You turn a commission into a work of research.
FL: Yes, it’s an opportunity to delve into design, culture, research the company’s strong patrimony and imagine its development, turn everything into products. It’s crucial that we understand our customers. We are lucky; usually those who contact us already like us.
A: Even to imperfections…
FL: I don’t like what’s beautiful, the perfect, industrial object. I like imperfections. Human beings are not perfect and I don’t share the desire to collect perfect objects. I like to capture the tension and give character to what we do. I think an object is like an emotional prosthesis.
A: What is your advice to young designers?
FL: Be loyal to yourself, find out what you really like so you keep going. Don’t give up if at first you are not getting any recognition, you’ll have to be patient and keep working. I also recommend lots of travel, looking around and to never stop marveling at what’s different from we what we know.
About the author Porzia Bergamasco is journalist and consultant. She curated the Milano Design Film Festival and Salone Satellite Award, she specializes in design and architecture.