SCI-Arc student Jonathan Browning introduces Aldo Cibic to present a selection of his work and discuss the concepts and development of each project. With Ettore Sottsass and others he formed Sottsass Associati ten years ago. The notoriety of its Memphis furniture collection (1981) has overshadowed their extensive body of other work, including architecture, graphics, corporate image, and industrial and interior design.
Cibic presents a selection of his work and discusses the concepts and development of each project. He talks about his firm's work from the past eight years in categories including industrial design, graphics, interior design, architecture, and their many showroom projects. A robot project they did in 1984 was intended to be used to teach children to think in three dimensions while a similar project resulted in a telephone design for an electronics company in Palo Alto. They also designed a numeric controller for fabricating machines used by Saab, Ferrari, and other car makers. A professional espresso machine they designed for an Italian company and other furniture for Knoll comprise much of their earlier work.
Cibic presents seven large projects done for Esprit in Germany which began as a commission for two large stores and six showrooms in major cities. This project began with no particular budget or stylistic limits resulting in some interesting decisions including the laborious application of a type of Venetian plaster called marbolina as a finish for a staircase. They were faced with a different set of challenges with the showroom for Berlin that was to be in an apartment of an old building leading them to take a different approach. Other locations for the showrooms include Cologne, Frankfurt, Melbourne, and Vienna among others, each taking on its own character according to its site and surroundings.
Cibic takes questions from the audience about his firm's work and discusses his excitement about their future work which involves all scales of design including more architectural projects. He also discusses his disappointment at the fact that Mario Bellini is editor of Domus and says that it represents a step down from Gio Ponti as the magazine is no longer a place for sharing ideas. Due to his lack of formal education in architecture and design, his refers to his early work as a series of disasters but feels he learned many valuable lessons during his start at Sottsass.