Design Centre Stories

Design Date – Monica Armani


Architect and designer Monica Armani was born in Italy and began her career working with her father, architect Marcello Armani, who passed on his passion for design, attention to detail, and new ideas. In 1996, in collaboration with Luca Dallabetta, she designed the Progetto 1 products that would make her name. In 2005 the project was launched by B&B Italia and she has since worked with many international firms such as Tribù, Moroso, Boffi, Cassina, Gallotti&Radice and Poliform. At London Design Week 2015, she joins a panel discussing how international designers reconcile the drive for innovation with local and cultural influences. Here she talks about following in her father’s footsteps, her approach to design and the new stool she’s designed for Gallotti&Radice.

Conversations in Design: The International Language of Design,3pm 8 March; Tickets, £10.

Did you always know you’d follow your father into design and architecture? The idea of studying architecture came to me very naturally and I never felt it as an imposition. Even as a teenager I felt the chance to live in such a challenging and attractive environment was a privilege. I wanted to work in that field.

Career highlight? My work as an architecture and designer is a continuous research to create contemporary spaces and environments that are free from the overload of signs. It’s a synthesis of an aesthetic harmony, a research of detail and a responsiveness to function – spaces and products created to last.

Do you have a ‘design mantra’? Observation, curiosity and synthesis are my driving force. I love to watch the details that surround me from nature in which I love to catch the perspectives in a forest or the signs that water and wind impress on the landscape, to people’s differences and behaviour.

Can you tell us a little bit about the gorgeous ‘WGS’ stool you’ve designed for Gallotti&Radice? This simple stool represents the guidelines of my design: linearity and essentiality. A folded metal sheet covered with different fabrics and leather. The idea came up very quickly and easily because we needed a seat to present the ‘WGS’ table in a fair – and now the stool has been a great success. Sometimes this is how it works!

What three things will we never see you without? Make-up, heels and my iPad!