Milan Preview: Dedon
Monday, March 31st, 2014
DANIEL POUZET, Designer
A defining moment in Daniel Pouzet’s career came when he met Philippe Starck in the mid-’90s, and it was with that iconic French designer that he first attended the Salone in 1997. As an independent designer, Pouzet develops projects all over the world that span architecture, interiors, industrial design, illustrations, and furniture. He’s created several pieces for the Dedon collection and collaborated with Jean-Marie Massaud on the outdoor- furniture brand’s island resort in the Philippines.
Pouzet showed pieces that he developed for the resort at last year’s Salone, including a version of the Swingrest in pink ombré that was consequently special-ordered by pop star Shakira. “I think that fading color scheme created a subtly surreal, almost dreamlike experience of the existing product,” he says.
“Dreamlike experience” actually is an apt descriptor for Dedon as a brand. Formed in a hospital bed in Munich in 1990, the company got its start after soccer player Bobby Dekeyser decided his life’s true dream was to be an entrepreneur while recovering from a soccer-related injury. The company has grown from a team of three to a team of more than 3,000 in the past 20 years, and today, Dedon can be found in more than 80 countries.
Here Pouzet shares thoughts on Italian design, what he’ll be showing at this year’s fair, and why he loves the Salone, despite its gift of “heavy legs at the end of each day.”
What makes Italian design so special?
Italy is on the top with regards to technology, and at the same time, it’s an artisan’s country. Most of the larger Italian companies are still family-owned businesses—a fact that’s characteristic of the Italian industry. The interest in being involved in the industry grows from one generation to another, and from my point of view, Italian companies are exceptionally open to any challenging ideas. And Italian design tends to be really international, as most of the greatest designers have created masterpieces with Italian companies.
How do you think Milan stays at the center of this industry?
I think it’s a question of tradition. Milan’s fair was and still is the place to be with regards to design. There is simply no other competitor to this fair. The Salone del Mobile is not restricted to the fair grounds, to the exhibition space itself. There are events and smaller exhibitions everywhere in Milan, and the whole city takes part in this event. Everyone is completely immersed in the world of furniture during this event; you can breathe it. For me, there’s no better place to present or launch my ideas and creations.
What can we expect from you for Dedon at this year’s Salone?
I’ve always been fascinated by hanging elements and the feeling of having your head in the sky without really touching the ground. I always want to play with furniture and add a kinetic dimension, as well as create furniture pieces that have stories to tell that make you feel like you would want to spend hours inside of them. So, at this year’s Salone, I’ll present some very exciting, new pieces of the Dedon Swingrest collection: armchairs and two-seaters— both on the ground or floating, with and without canopies, and rounded out by floating tables. It’s a very innovative concept: a “floating living room” so to say.