Designer Particolare: Michele de Lucchi

Michele De Lucchi, one of Italy's leading Artists and Architects has always run in tandem with a personal exploration of design, technology and craftsmanship: 'Ettore Sottsass always told me that when you draw objects, you also draw the behavior of those who will use those objects.'

Michele De Lucchi, one of Italy's leading Artists and Architects has always run in tandem with a personal exploration of design, technology and craftsmanship. He won the Compasso d'oro for the Tolomeo lamp and for Castore LED lamp by Artemide and he was part of the Memphis Group with his particolare chair. He also has designed and restored buildings all around the world. 

Where do you mainly find your inspiration?

Inspiration is in the real facts of the world, trying to grasp the Spirit of the time. It comes from curiosity and sagacity in capturing the details that lead to something new. But you will never find anything without putting yourself on the line, without the will to rebel against what already exists and the ambition to do something more.


A few years ago, as a designer, you decided to create a group called AMDL CIRCLE. Who are they?

In 2019, thinking on the generational difference, I created CIRCLE: a group of designers that includes my long-time collaborators, but which opened up to include more and more young people. It is to them that I would like to pass on the criteria with which I have worked in recent years, my intellectual and philosophical position. We have thought of a flexible structure that gives maximum space to research and guarantees a holistic approach to design. The idea of the circle also aims to be a way to broaden horizons, cultivating the culture of dialogue with different personalities expert in different disciplines, such as philosophers, anthropologists, scientists, botanists and so on. With their knowledge and their visions of the world we can greatly enrich our architecture, design, graphics and art projects.


What led to the meeting between AMDL and Object Particolare?

A mutual friend introduced us. On the one hand, I and my team: firm supporters of anyone who loves doing things well, by hand and with passion. On the other hand, Constance Ponti managing director of Object Particolare: craftsmen of luxury, but without frills, who create intemporal bags with a twisted design. An immediate feeling.


How did the idea for this multi-bag came about?

Proporzioni arises from its practical function. Or rather its multi-function. I always carry with me many objects and, consequently, many bags. Mainly tote bags, which I find very comfortable and resistant. I have one for the laptop; one for notebooks, sheets and colors; one for the books. Sometimes, I even put a wooden model in it. And if I need more ... I take another tote bag. When I was asked to design a bag, I thought about how much I wanted a single object that contained all the things I needed.


You decided to call this bag Proporzioni. Why?

Proportions are an essential tool for architects, mathematical formulas seeking to define the concepts of harmony and beauty in a universal way. Each designer has to deal with the theme of proportions to draw the balance of the parts with the whole. Connecting three bags to create just one is a game of proportions.


Is the world of fashion very different from the world of design in your opinion?

They are two disciplines that require different knowledge and skills. But what they have in common is the predisposition to leave one's "comfort zone" and allow oneself to be contaminated by different areas in order to try to define a common language: not a mere aesthetic whim, but an expression of society and its changing habits. Because objects, as well as clothes, must represent the era in which they are made.


Proporzioni editorial shooting is done partly in your Milan studio and partly in front of the Unicredit Pavillion in Piazza Gae Aulenti, designed by you. Places where wood is predominant.

It is not a secret. I love wood: a material that will never become waste!


What is the most Particolare material for you?

I am thinking of natural materials such as wood, but also stone, metal and leather. Strictly untreated. Natural materials have a unique, "particular" personality precisely because they age, change color, crack and change over time, always carrying their life with them and showing themselves in their authenticity.


In the Proporzioni bag there is a label signed by Michele De Lucchi: 'The designer is a tireless traveler'. Can you explain to us why you chose this beautiful sentence?

It is an invitation to never stop looking.


You wrote that walls no longer serve to divide. Walls are used to bring things together because they are a connecting tool. This particular thought gives a strong message of hope to the new generations. Do you think that design and architecture are a privileged way to communicate?

Architecture and design, like many other disciplines, must contribute to the creation of the collective imagination, think about better living conditions, "know how to tell them" and work in that direction. It is a great responsibility, on a practicality and constructive level but also on a communicative level. Ettore Sottsass always told me that when you draw objects, you also draw the behavior of those who will use those objects. I am convinced that the design of the spaces, the paths, the furnishings, the details, everything affects the emotions and behaviors of those who will use these.


Proporzioni Black